For those of you who don’t know me, I am Tracey Bucci, President and Founder of the Grand River Environmental Group. This coming year will be our 18th Annual Grand River Environmental Festival. Our volunteer group also holds meetings and ongoing monthly clean ups at different locations throughout the City of Brantford.
This group was initiated while I was a student at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus, and our first clean-up commenced in 2002. I then coordinated the Annual Grand River Clean Up event while I attended Mohawk College in the following years and continue to do so independently. There is great interest from the community and people have come to expect this event each year.
Our goal has remained consistent over the years. We hope to discourage littering and promote awareness of pollution in our community, park or walking trail, all of which are resources we enjoy as a community and resources visitors travel to this area to experience.
Our Annual Grand River Clean Up event is family oriented and the incredible BBQ put on by the Sherwood Restaurant & Catering and live entertainment, are both great ways to encourage community participation, show our appreciation to the volunteers and bring fun to the event.
Again, our Annual Grand River Clean Up event will roll out rain or shine on May 11, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from the pavilion at Brant’s Crossing Park (behind the Casino). The BBQ lunch is scheduled for volunteers around noon along with live entertainment scheduled until 3:00 p.m.
Up until last year we had Roger Chandler contribute with volunteers pulling debris from the river. This had always proven to be a great collaboration over the years. Unfortunately, my dear friend Roger passed away. He was loved by many. We will always honour him for all of his efforts and dedication to a cleaner Brantford, Grand River and to his annual participation in the Grand River Environmental Festival.
The Parks and Recreation department have been very accommodating over the years and continue to assist our groups endeavors by loading and removing debris from each clean up site.
We always begin each clean up by addressing the volunteers with a word on safety. Our volunteers are required to sign waivers. Gloves and garbage bags are provided. Fluorescent tape is distributed so volunteers may flag areas where needles, hazardous material or broken glass are found. Volunteers are not to touch these items. We want to make each clean up fun, and safety remains a priority.
Volunteers should come dressed for the weather and wear proper shoes to prevent sliding. Young children are encouraged to participate and should be accompanied by an adult. Our clean ups are also a great way for high-school students to accumulate their community service hours.
We are encouraged to see other local environmental groups and individuals doing their part by organizing community clean-ups and promoting environmental awareness. We would encourage these groups to consider joining forces. It is incredible the impact a large group of people can have, when we come together to promote a good cause. One thing we have learned over the years is there is never a shortage of debris to collect. This in itself conveys the need for an event like this.
We are pleased by the turn-out of committed volunteers, rain or shine. We found that running the Annual Grand River Clean Up event in early May has been the best time of the year. We have run the event as early as April and as late as June. April’s weather is usually cold and in June there is considerable under growth which makes for a more difficult clean-up.
We’re hoping for a great turn out at our 18th Annual Grand River Environmental Festival. Anyone with questions or interest in our Annual Grand River Clean Up events, ongoing meetings or monthly group clean ups, please contact me at (519) 751 0494.
Grand River Environmental Group President: Tracey Bucci
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