A cleanup of a 40 kilometre section of the Shuswap River is planned for October 7.
Organizer Charles Ruechel is looking for volunteers to help out.
“It’s a paddle event, meaning people can come in kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards and rafts. As we paddle the river, we clean up the shores.”
The event has been going on for five years and each year they find something new.
“There’s the annual stuff that gets left behind by fishermen and floaters, that kind of thing. And there’s the old garbage from maybe like the 60’s and 50’s when people used the river more like a dump. There’s sometime the odd farm machinery bits or old tires.”
Ruechel says these days the river generally is pristine, but they do find some large items and the canoes come in handy.
“The canoes (that they use) are kind of like the garbage barges. One year we found an office chair or pieces of an old mower, those kinds of things. Most of it is like beer cans and things like that.”
He says there are a lot of benefits from doing the cleanup.
Aside from getting to meet other members of the paddling community, Ruechel says it’s a way to show respect to the river and help put it to bed for the winter.
It starts at the Meadows campsite in Cherryville and paddlers will cover a 40 kilometre stretch of the river to Shuswap Falls at Wilsey Dam.
People who can’t paddle can help clean the campsite.
They also need drivers to help shuttle participants back to their vehicles.
Anyone interested can get in touch with Charles at email@example.com. or check his website at www.elementsadventures.com
He says it’s important to register so that he can be sure anyone planning to do the paddle portion is skilled enough so that they can handle any hazards that may come up.