One of the volunteers cleans up shotgun shells from the unauthorized firing range.

One of the volunteers cleans up shotgun shells from the unauthorized firing range.

Volunteers clean up unauthorized firing range

A group of volunteers stepped forward on March 14 and 15 to tidy up a major mess at the unauthorized shooting range.

A group of volunteers stepped forward on March 14 and 15 to tidy up a major mess at the unauthorized shooting range identified by RCMP earlier in the month.

Chantal Bolton of Prince Rupert has been spearheading a social media movement entitled “Positive Prince Rupert” that aims to cleanup site throughout the Prince Rupert and Port Edward area and targeted the shooting range for the most recent event.

“We spend a lot of time hiking through the wilderness of Prince Rupert and Port Edward. When we are out hiking we often come across areas where people are dumping their garbage and destroying the environment. We wanted to promote change for the positive, and do our part,” said Bolton.

What was once a partially cleared area covered in shotgun shells and debris that had been used for target practice has been restored to its former cleanliness. It’s an effort that has not gone unnoticed by those in the region.

“I am very surprised and delighted to see this taking place. I just wanted to say thank you very much on behalf of the District of Port Edward,” said Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald.

“It is so refreshing to see community members taking such initiative to create and foster an environment for positive change. On behalf of the Prince Rupert RCMP we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Chantal and her team for their amazing accomplishment and hard work,” added Const. Matt Ericson of the Prince Rupert RCMP.

The shooting range is just one of the sites the volunteers have cleaned up on the North Coast, with plans to continue those efforts at a new site each weekend. The Moresby Trail is scheduled to be cleaned on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., with the wooded area around Westview School scheduled for the Saturday after that.

For more information, visit the Positive Prince Rupert Facebook group.