Davidson’s Pool in the South Alouette River is vintage, rustic, Maple Ridge where people cool off and step away from the frenetic life of the big city.
Yet the leafy surroundings and sparkling water is drawing some urban blight as visitors from around Metro Vancouver enjoy the surroundings, then leave piles of trash when they depart.
The last B.C. Day long weekend was particularly bad because three days of beautiful weather brought three days of uncollected trash. Silver Valley resident Angie Causey said Wednesday there are only three garbage receptacles in the area, none of which were emptied over the three days.
“They couldn’t handle Sunday’s garbage. They couldn’t handle Monday’s garbage,” said Causey.
The Alouette River Management Society also recently called for river users to reduce their litter.
Society president Greta Borick-Cunningham also said that they get reports of people leaving their litter on the sides of the river banks, inner tubes being left on the banks and flip flops floating down the river.
The garbage was packed into industrial sized bags but they were left in the park overnight, only to attract a black bear which tore into them, scattering the contents. Chicken bones, chicken marinade for barbecuing, and watermelon, all the fixings for good picnic, along with dirty diapers, and “a tonne of stryofoam plates,” are just some of the ingredients festering for days in the park.
Causey did what she could by hauling three large bags into her own garage just to get out them out of the park.
Another neighbour complained to the City of Maple Ridge but was told the response would take weeks. “People were very upset,” said Causey, who also asked some visitors to bring their garbage back with them.
She recently visited a park in Mission and noted there was a constant garbage pickup along with security patrol.
She also noted that there’s a bear problem in Silver Valley with three being killed so far this year, because they became used to human food.
Another area resident Doug Stanger, wrote a letter to the editor on the topic, adding that people tubing on the river drink their beer, then urinate along the road side. “Only to repeat the ritual when they return, tossing their empties along the side before they leave.
“We realize that most are families out to enjoy themselves and do clean up, but the few really ruin it for the rest,” Stanger said. He provided photos that showed one of five rubber rafts discarded that day and another showing dozens of alcohol cans and bottles.
The City of Maple Ridge didn’t return calls for comment.