Isla Hodgson does her part to keep the Bella Coola Valley clean during the 2019 community-wide cleanup. (Matthew Wheelocks photo)

Isla Hodgson does her part to keep the Bella Coola Valley clean during the 2019 community-wide cleanup. (Matthew Wheelocks photo)

Local groups team up for annual garbage cleanup day

Date set for May 22

Bella Coola Valley Tourism president Tom Hermance is inviting residents to participate in the annual valley-wide and townsite cleanup day coming up Saturday, May 22.

“It’s such a beautiful town, we like it to be clean,” Hermance said, noting the last time a garbage cleanup was organized the community filled 50 bags of trash.

“We’re hoping to beat that this year.”

The event, being held in co-operation with Bella Coola Valley Tourism, CCRD, Bella Coola Search and Rescue and the Bella Coola Watershed Society, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteers can meet at the CCRD building at 626 Cliff Street where garbage bags, gloves, pick-up sticks, face masks and refreshments will be offered to participants courtesy of a small grant provided for the event.

For those who can’t get downtown, residents are encouraged to beautify their local areas while members from search and rescue will tackle trash that has found its way along the rivers and tributaries.

At the end of the event, dropped-off full bags will be brought to the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Centre.

The B.C. tourism industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 since the pandemic was first declared in the spring of 2020. As with the rest of the province, Hermance said the valley saw more travellers camping in the area during the pandemic as it allows travellers to be contained in their own space for food and sleeping.

Hermance said the 2021 tourism season will hopefully “gently” begin soon, with only B.C. residents being encouraged to travel with strict COVID-19 precautions in place.

“We’re hoping to open safely and responsibly.”

The visitor centre is set to open June 14, while the BC Ferries route is expected to start June 22.

Part of the incentive of the cleanup day is getting the valley ready for B.C. visitors.

“(The Bella Coola Valley) is such a beautiful place, we want to put our best foot forward for those who journey this way.”


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