“The Kettle River is the life-blood of this region,” said a visitor to my table at the Rock Creek and Boundary Fall Fair. I had the pleasure of many such conversations that weekend, and residents continually remind me and visitors alike of how special our rivers are.
It’s important to recognize the value of our rivers, wherever we live, and work towards their stewardship and protection. This weekend, people around the world will be celebrating river stewardship on World Rivers Day.
World Rivers Day is held every year on the last Sunday in September. Mark Angelo and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC created the event as BC Rivers Day in 1980 to help recognize and celebrate waterways across the province.
Today, in celebrations from Burnaby to Iraq to Malaysia, millions of people in 60 countries will float, paddle, tour, clean-up, and dance about the value of rivers in our lives.
In B.C., the Outdoor Recreation Council says that over 75,000 people participate in more than 100 events each year – Canada’s largest river appreciation event. In Grand Forks, various organizations have led river clean-ups over the years, hauling out garbage large and small.
“The craziest thing we ever hauled out was a 600-pound waterlogged couch just below the black train bridge,” said Lawrence Radford of Kingfisher Fly & Tackle. “It took eight guys and a winch to get it to shore – it’s ridiculous that someone could dump garbage like that in the river that we depend on for fishing, swimming and drinking.”
This Sunday, Sept. 29, join the Granby Wilderness Society for a clean-up on the shorelines of the Kettle and Granby Rivers. Volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. at City Park (at the parking lot near the playground) to get garbage bags and gloves, and pick the time for meeting at the landfill.
“The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will waive tipping fees for the clean-up crews,” said Jenny Coleshill of the Granby Wilderness Society, who is leading the event. “It’s a great way to show support for these special places.”
More information on World Rivers Day can be found at http://worldriversday.com and BC Rivers Day at http://www.orcbc. ca/pro_bcriversday.htm
Graham Watt is project co-ordinator of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. Ask Watt watershed questions at plan@kettleriver. ca. Figures and footnotes are included online at http://kettleriver.ca – look for the link in the menu to “Kettle River Q&A.