‘Green Deer’ initiatives taking control of garbage around Red Deer River

  • May. 28, 2014 7:59 p.m.

Each year a City initiative known as Green Deer takes to the streets in an attempt to preserve Red Deer’s beauty by removing garbage from around the area.

On June 1st, join the volunteers and City workers who are coming together to clean up the Red Deer River in sites along Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Rotary Park and the BMX track.

“It’s getting better all the time, we’re getting more people on board,” said Suzanne Jubb, community and program facilitator for the City of Red Deer.

“My goal is eventually for Red Deer to have zero garbage and maybe eventually we will win that battle.”

Cleaning up the Red Deer River used to be a community group project before it was moved under the ‘Green Deer’ campaign umbrella in 2009. The focus used to be around Kerry Wood Nature Centre but has since spread across other areas of the City in need.

“We usually average about 100 people but this year, a group of students from the University of Alberta will be joining us, and that group will be anywhere from 25 to 50 students,” said Jubb.

Nearly 200 people in total are expected for the event, but anyone is welcome. Pre-registration is not needed.

“I think we have a responsibility to our environment. Garbage is bad for the animals, it looks bad and activities like this build communities,” said Jubb. She added that it is a great feeling to help. “It’s really rewarding.”

The 2014 Green Deer theme is ‘Leave it better than you found it.’ City residents are encouraged to lend a hand in picking up garbage where it is found. All the small gestures add up to a more beautiful Red Deer, she said.

The Green Deer initiative began in 2003 and dedicates time annually from April 14th to June 15th with cleaning programs around the City which include the river clean up, graffiti removal and garbage pile pick-ups.

The year’s secondary major clean up is scheduled for Sept. 8th and is known as the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

“Usually, if I’m out for a walk, I’ll carry a glove and a grocery bag with me and try to pick things up along the way. Sometimes I fill the bag, sometimes I don’t but either way it’s nice to do a little bit,” said Jubb.

Her suggestion is that other Red Deer citizens do the same when they are out walking. “Hopefully one day we will win this war on garbage.”

More information on Green Deer initiatives and projects can be found on the Red Deer City web site within the recreation, parks and culture department.