Regional District of North Okanagan staff recently cleaned up a portion of Vernon Creek.

Regional District of North Okanagan staff recently cleaned up a portion of Vernon Creek.

Community cleans up Vernon Creek

Regional District of North Okanagan staff volunteered their time Sept. 23 to collect garbage

A local creek is a lot cleaner these days.

Regional District of North Okanagan staff volunteered their time Sept. 23 to collect garbage along Vernon Creek.

“This is the third clean up the staff team has done on the stretch of Vernon Creek just north of Kalamalka Lake, near Husband Road,” said Jennifer Miles, water sustainability co-ordinator.

“More than a dozen bags of garbage, several bags of recyclables, as well as some unusual items, including a canopy from an old truck, have been collected since efforts began in October 2011.”

On Sept. 23, two bags of recycling, four bags of garbage, a metal shelf and packaging tarp were collected.

One of the most common items found was cigarette butts.

“Not only are they a fire hazard, as they can smolder for up to three hours, but the arsenic, lead, and other chemicals left in the filters contaminate our streams,” said Miles.

The Sept. 23 event was part of the Adopt-a-Stream program and held in conjunction with the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up.

The Adopt-a-Stream Program encourages community involvement in protecting local waterways. Program participants are provided a clean up kit and can take advantage of water quality and ecology training from RDNO staff.

Greater Vernon residents wanting to adopt a stream can call 250-550-3700 or go to www.rdno.ca/adopt.