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Annual clean up a way to give back to Mother Nature MICHELLE NASH

East end communities will be coming out on Mother’s Day weekend to clean up the Rideau River. This year’s cleanup will take place along the river on Saturday, May 7. New Edinburgh will have a station in Stanely Park and Overbrook will have their station in Riverside Memorial Park. The other neighbouring communities, who will participate, such as Manor Park, Lindenlea and Vanier, will meet at one of the two stations. The Urban Rideau Conservationist has organized the Rideau River cleanup for the past 10 years. It started with three east end garbage pickers, Catherine Canning, her brother Martin Canning and Gemma Kerr. Catherine decided it should fall on Mother’s Day weekend every year as a way to give back to Mother Nature. “Rivers are like mothers; they recreate, they transport, they give to us and this is our way of giving back,” Kerr said. Since its inception, Catherine has moved out of Ottawa, but the Urban Rideau Conservationists continues with her brother, Kerr and Kerr’s husband, Jim Watson. The day’s events will involve the two community groups offering gloves, garbage pinchers, garbage bags and coffee for anyone who comes out to pick up gar-

bage. “The main thing about this day is to get people and communities out who have frontage on the river to clean up the park,” Kerr added. Overbrook Community Council president Sheila Perry has been organizing the event for the Overbrook community and although last year’s event was a rather wet day, she is hopeful this year it will be a sunny day and the community will come out to help. “There will be Tim Hortons coffee for any volunteers and lots of snacks and of course lots of garbage bags and gloves,” Perry said. Having the communities come together for this event makes organizing efficient and easy, Kerr said. “This way we have one person going to the city to ask for gloves and bags and garbage pinchers,” Kerr said. Kerr and Perry both agree, being on the tail end of the Rideau River, they see a lot of garbage and this clean up is a good way to kick off spring and get the river and parks clean for the summer months. Much like Perry, Kerr hopes this weekend is much nicer than last year’s. “I certainly hope we will have a whole lot better weather than last year and a lot of community members come out to help,” Kerr said. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. rain or shine.

Submitted photo

This year marked the fourth time the New Edinburgh and Overbrook communities came out in May to clean up the capital.




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Ottawa This Week - East  

May 5, 2011