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Positive Prince Rupert sets out for a summer clean

Moresby Trail the recipient of the organization’s latest cleanup effort
The Moresby Trail and surrounding woods were the site of a cleanup by Positive Prince Rupert on Sunday, June 30, 2019. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Positive Prince Rupert was putting the meaning behind its namesake on display Sunday afternoon with a cleanup of Moresby Trail.

Volunteers were out with plenty of garbage bags picking up all sorts of objects littering the trail and woods. Chantal Meggison of Positive Prince Rupert was at the head of the initiative, and says the group likes to get out to perform efforts like these around once a month.

Chantal Meggison kicks off the cleanup, assisted by her daughter Cora. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Earlier in June the Rushbrook Trail was the recipient of a similar facelift from the Kaien Island Trail Society. Both cleanups yielded many of the same items.

READ MORE: Rushbrook Trail receives its annual spring spruce up

“Coffee cups, juice cups, unfortunately we find a lot of plastic,” said Meggison. Cigarette butts are also a regular along the paths.

Chantal Meggison finds one of many beer cans littered along the trail. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Meggison said she has spoken to the city about adding more garbage cans along the trail. While Prince Rupert has made efforts to boost these numbers, they bring along their own issues.

“When we put them in private locations, then people do a lot of illegal dumping in them,” said Meggison. “They took them out of areas that people were doing that. So we have a lot in our downtown and on the main streets, but we don’t have a lot in private areas, like trails off the street.”

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with trail users to make sure they left the trail how they found it.

“If you brought it in, bring it out. Leave the place better than you found it,” said Meggison. “We’ve done a lot of the same areas every single year because people just don’t grasp that concept.”

Positive Prince Rupert's youngest helper Cora Meggison takes a break from all her hard work. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

“We have to keep coming back and redoing them. We can’t even do new areas because we’re always maintaining the same old areas. It would be nice if we had that responsibility on ourselves,” added Meggison.

READ MORE: Neighbourhood volunteers clear 1,500 kg of waste

The Moresby Trail also yields a different kind of cleanup problem, stemming from people who spend prolonged amounts of time in the woods. “We’ll find bedding, sleeping stuff, tarps,” explained Meggison. A wheelbarrow was needed to haul away garbage found at a makeshift campsite.

Garbage is spewed around congregation areas such as this campfire. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Connie Korhonen was one of the volunteers out on the trail. “I usually do it every month. I’ve lived here all my life, I walk here all the time. We’re lucky that they’re here, I want it to be clean.”

Next up for Positive Prince Rupert is a planned cleanup of the city’s alleyways.

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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