Ballenas Secondary student Benjamin Klein-Beekman is disgusted by the huge amount of garbage strewn along Claymore Road near the Qualicum Fish Hatchery.
The Grade 10 student said he and his father love to travel along the logging road to see what’s out there. He is disappointed to see the area is being used as an illegal dumping site.
“I’m just really sick and tired of seeing it, so I decided I want to do something about it,” said Klein-Beekman.
It has led the young man to organize a major cleanup of the area that will take place Sunday, April 24 on the Claymore logging road just past the hatchery, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Klein-Beekman said it originally was just a small little project he planned to do with some friends. But it grew to become a major cleanup effort as members from his Interact Club at Ballenas jumped on board. He also approached Rotary Clubs from Parksville and Qualicum Beach, who were more than happy to assist.
Klein-Beekman also sought permission from the owner of the property, Mosaic Forest Management, and was given support with plans to provide them with gloves, water and trash bags.
The Regional District of Nanaimo, Klein-Beekman added, will also waive tipping fees at the transfer station on Church Road. Some businesses such as DBL will also provide some bins for transport. There will also be a bobcat and dump truck made available for the cleanup.
Klein-Beekman is overwhelmed by the support.
“I have never organized a cleanup before,” he said. “I was part of the Little Mountain cleanup last fall. I met a lot of people there.”
One of the people he met there was Bill Rawlins, former principal of Ballenas and the president of the Rotary Club of Parkville AM, who led the Little Mountain cleanup.
“Prior to the Little Mountain cleanup, I was already planning to do this and he just decided to help,” said Klein-Beekman, who is expecting more than 20 volunteers to be come out on Sunday. He said there are some fishermen and hunters who will also lend a helping hand.
“It’s really bad out there,” said Klein-Beekman. “There’s garbage all over the place. I am specifically targetting a very, very big patch of garbage.”
Klein-Beekman is inviting more volunteers to help with the cleanup. Anyone wishing to take part can go to the site on Sunday morning, but will be required to sign a waiver before participating.