Cleaning the Capital 2012

Cleaning the Capital went further than a day. A grade four student from Viscount Alexander Public School summed it up nicely, “I love Sandy Hill because it’s our home..from a girl who is helping you and the Earth, Jade.

Many people showed up to help out clean Strathcona and Sandy Hill Parks as well as other areas of our neighbourhood, from young to experienced garbage pickers, brownies, guides, pathfinders and scouts. Some volunteers started early before 5 May 2012 by cleaning the Strathcona Park stairs descending from the fountain and some finished tasks along the river and on streets. In addition to the cleaning here are some long-term results:

The cabana at the Strathcona Park wading pool got painted thanks to Rob Sinclair and Neala. Graffiti gone.

University of Ottawa student Charlie Anderson and her friend from Orleans, Sadie Okoko, helped remove graffiti on streets with an anti-graffiti kit provided by the city.

A total of 22 garbage bins have been accounted for in Strathcona Park – someone kept count and made sure that all were restored to the park after the winter months. There was a bit of a delay, bins having been removed because of demonstrations in front of the Congo Embassy on Range. But now we have a full complement thanks to the watchful eye of two volunteers.

Our Coucillor Mathieu Fleury inspected a dumping site at Dutchy’s Hole Park on Cleaning the Capital day. He came with gloves in hand. He initiated a further clean up with Ottawa Community Housing, there was just too much stuff for Cleaning the Capital. In addition the city will plant evergreens to ring the garbage area at the top end of Strathcona Heights where their garbage bins are stored as well as some added greenery to help keep feet on pathways leading to the park. The snow dump that was causing a lot of garbage accumulation at the base of the hill will be limited to a specified location rather than what we have currently experienced. So salt and grit will be contained as well as the debris. Thanks to all who picked up windshield wipers, compressors, a rather scary butcher knife, and other assortments along that area on May 5. It took guts!

University of Ottawa’s Sustainability department organized a city-wide e-waste collection at the Sandy Hill Arena. They had huge numbers of volunteers involved from the Groupe Katimavik coordinated by Brigitte Morin and Jonathan Rausseo on behalf of the university.

Two plantings have occurred on Laurier East just after the Nelson intersection on both sides of the street. Thank you to Barbara Cuerden who donated the plants, time and energy for transforming two squares of emptiness into green. It is hoped the green will discourage the accumulation of cigarette butts and garbage along that corridor. One can dream. And best to dream in colour, the colour being green as in ground cover.

Businesses and Embassies were invited to join by cleaning up around their properties. Mary Nash, Cristine Erlick and daughter Jade and Alex MacDonald, all helped get the word out to approximately 35 businesses and 30 some embassies or consular offices. Special thanks to Mrs Contant’s grade 3 and 4 class at Viscount who wrote individual letters to businesses underlining the importance of keeping the neighbourhood looking good.

Click here to view the gallery on Flickr