The second annual Swim Drink Fish Festival celebrated the Elk River with an overwhelming number of watershed residents in attendance. “We had our biggest turnout ever for the Great Elk River Shoreline Cleanup,” remarked Lee-Anne Walker, Elk River Alliance Executive Director. “I am happy to report back from volunteers that the river shoreline was relatively clean.”
Held on September 29-30 as part of World and BC Rivers Day, the festival saw fifty people donating three hours of time on their Sunday to clean up the Elk River from Olsen Crossing to Elko. “Fishers, guides, paddlers, rafters, and other folks are thanked for keeping these staging areas so clean,” commented Walker. “In the past there has been lots of garbage at these sites and this year it was much better.”
Several volunteers took on the greatest challenge of the day, tidying up Silver Springs, a popular summer destination. Sleeping bags, abandoned tents, and plenty of cans and bottles were collected at the site, filling ten garbage bags. Walker stated, “It is time to focus on a long-term plan for this area. It needs an outhouse, signage, and perhaps restriction as a day-use site only.”
Hosted by the Elk River Alliance, the weekend’s festivities also included citizen stream science demonstrations, a photo contest, and Our River Rocks, a dinner and music social event at the Bridge Bistro.