Davidson’s Pool in the South Alouette River is vintage, rustic, Maple Ridge where people cool off and step away from the frenetic life of the big city.
Yet the leafy surroundings and sparkling water is drawing some urban blight, as visitors from around Metro Vancouver leave piles of trash when they depart.
The last B.C. Day long weekend was particularly bad, because three days of beautiful weather brought three days of uncollected trash. Silver Valley resident Angie Causey said there are only three garbage receptacles in the area, none of which were emptied over the three days.
“They couldn’t handle Sunday’s garbage. They couldn’t handle Monday’s garbage,” said Causey.
The Alouette River Management Society also recently called for river users to reduce their litter.
Society president Greta Borick-Cunningham said they get reports of people leaving their litter on the sides of the river banks, inner tubes being left on the banks and flip flops floating down the river.
The garbage was packed into industrial sized bags but they were left in the park overnight, only to attract a black bear which tore into them, scattering the contents. Chicken bones, chicken marinade for barbecuing, and watermelon, all the fixings for good picnic, along with dirty diapers, and “a tonne of stryofoam plates,” were just some of the ingredients Causey found in the park.
Causey did what she could by hauling three large bags into her own garage just to get out them out of the park.
She noted there’s a bear problem in Silver Valley with three being killed so far this year, because they became used to human food.
Another area resident Doug Stanger, wrote a letter to the editor on the topic.
“We realize that most are families out to enjoy themselves and do clean up, but the few really ruin it for the rest,” Stanger said.
City hall acknowledged having received complaints about litter left by tubers on the South Alouette, and trespassing on to private property.
Spokesman Fred Armstrong said the city and ARMS will be doing joint messaging in social media about the importance of ‘pack it in and pack it out’ regarding waste.
The city will also increase staff visits to remove waste from garbage receptacles.
“We will continue to monitor the conditions along the route to determine if it is necessary to bring bylaws into action to address the issues around littering and trespassing along the river,” said Armstrong.