Some of Fernie's wonderful volunteers with some of the rubbish collected around Fernie this Earth Day 2021. (Contributed by Jessica Bozoky)

Fernie community cleans up for Earth Day

Over 180 volunteers were hard at work cleaning up Fernie this weekend

Contributed by Jessica Bozoky

Fernie Heritage Library

On Saturday 24 April, the Fernie Heritage Library hosted Pick Up For A Plant And Our Planet, an Earth Day community clean-up in partnership with Elk Valley Wildsight.

Taking place between April 20-24, the community was able to pick-up bags and gloves from the Library donated by Fernie Home Hardware.

Participants were asked to pick up around Fernie anytime that week, and bring their bags to the Library garden on Saturday to create an eyesore of trash as a visual display.

The weather at the weekend didn’t sway community support, with over 180 local eco-warriors engaging in the rubbish-ridding initiative.

In exchange for a bag of trash, picker-uppers were gifted with an activity bag including: seed matching game, pea seeds, and a bee-friendly flower seedling to plant at home, courtesy of Elk Valley Wildsight’s EcoGarden.

Volunteers could shelter from the elements in a tent donated by Teck, set-up by Patti’s Party Tent Rentals, and there was plenty of caffeine donated by Fernie Starbucks to keep the buzz going.

Maiden Lake and the river dike were main hot-spots for collection, as well as alleyways, Cokato and Coal Creek Road, the skate-park, and along the railway in town.

By late afternoon participants agreed they were struggling to find trash in some areas and worked together to seek out garbage.

A cross-section of the community participated in the clean-up, including young families, older couples, teens and groups of friends in their 20s and 30s.

Measures were taken to ensure Covid-safety for everyone involved by keeping the event outdoors, socially-distanced, and encouraging mask-wearing.

At the end of the day Fernie Home Hardware picked up the pile of trash to dispose of it properly.