Hundreds of Calgarians are volunteering their time this weekend to help keep the city’s rivers and pathways clean.
Returning to the springtime after having been moved to the fall for the past two years, the annual Pathway and River Clean Up is now in its 55th year.
More than a hundred teams consisting of 2,100+ volunteers will be scouring city parks and riverbanks over the weekend.
ConocoPhilips, who is acting as the presenting sponsor for this year’s cleanup, had 37 volunteers working to clean up Lindsay Park on Friday.
“I think what we’re finding is folks are really, really hungry to get back and interact and sort of connect with their peers and their colleagues, so this is just a perfect opportunity,” said Stephen Lee, managing counsel with ConocoPhilips.
“The fact that this is the 55th year speaks volumes to just the community itself. Calgarians are very, very, very good about giving back and being involved.”
The City of Calgary isn’t looking for any more volunteers this year.
Nalini Mohan, parks program coordinator with the City of Calgary, said that some of the volunteers might be disappointed by how little trash they pick up this year. The city has seen a general trend towards less public litter, and less garbage in the rivers over the past few years.
Still, she said, the city is encouraging volunteers to post any strange finds online.
“We always get surprises, and we do ask teams to report their funniest findings on social media to see you what they find,” said Mohan.
The annual cleanup began in 1967 after Sandra Crawford, a 12-year-old Calgarian, found a mattress in the Elbow River.