A Trail couple’s social-media post rallied West Kootenay communities to clean up their backyard on the weekend.
Trail residents Josh and Darelyn Stuart set up a Facebook group last week called ‘Clean up the Pondy and Casino!!!’.
They urged volunteers to come out to help clean up two sites, a burned travel trailer in the Pend d’Oreille and a burned out van, travel trailer, and other debris on Casino Road.
The response was inspiring.
The group gathered momentum as volunteers came online and joined up, many donating funds and supplies themselves. They received the necessary direction and help from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and from the Regional Districts of Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary.
The sites were eyesores on what normally would be two scenic spots, and the Pend d’Oreille, in particular, a favourite place for locals to camp, fish, and recreate.
On Sunday, 24 volunteers met in the Pend d’Oreille to clean up the mess, along with heavy equipment and disposal bins courtesy of Alpine Disposal.
Kevin Ellis got things started at the other site in Casino with his own heavy equipment, and another 20 volunteers showed up early to sort all the garbage, metal, and recyclables.
Scrap King from Salmo disposed of the metal, and the McKelvey Creek and Central Kootenay landfills gave the volunteers a free pass on fees.
Businesses from Greater Trail, Salmo, Ymir and New Denver generously pitched in and donated gloves, masks, heavy equipment, metal cutters, grinders, bins, vehicles, food, funds for gas, gift certificates and other supplies.
“I want to say thank you to all the support from our amazing community!” said Darelyn. “Huge thanks to all the volunteers that came out to the Pondy and came to clean up the Casino mess.
“It takes a leader, but it takes a team to get the job done.”
Residents are encouraged to call the RAPP line to report all poachers and polluters at 1-877-952-7277.