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Tons of garbage removed from Okanagan Falls forest by volunteers

The Okanagan Forest Task Force removed more than 31,530 lbs of garbage from the backcountry on May 25
Okanagan Forest Task Force cleanup at Okanagan Falls, May 25, 2024. (David Ouwendyk/OFTF)

A Kelowna-based forest task force took on the job of cleaning up an abandoned encampment and dump site on May 25.

While many were enjoying a weekend of leisure, approximately 15 people drove into the backcountry near Okanagan Falls and volunteered their time to clean up the forest.

READ MORE: ‘Biggest encampment clean up ever seen’ found near Okanagan Falls

Kane Blake, the founder of the Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF), has been working to keep nature clean and wild for as long as he can remember.

The cleanup of the site at Okanagan Falls is the largest project ever undertaken by OFTF.

“The camp is full of travel trailers, cars, motorhomes, metal, tons and tons of garbage, and even hidden underground locations,” Blake said.

With aid from companies ABC Recycling and Bin Boyz, the 15 volunteers removed 29,280 pounds of metal and 31,530 pounds of garbage from a site near Okanagan Falls, said Blake.

Since September 2016, OFTF has cleaned up more than 815,000 pounds of garbage from the Okanagan backcountry.

Blake said the last bins of garbage will be hauled away by ABC Recycling. Then, volunteers will rake the area to remove small pieces of remaining debris to finish the clean-up of the site.

“The community will no longer have to look at this mess in their backcountry,” said Blake.

@okanaganforesttaskforce this Saturday's clean up location. help us get to 1,000 followers and we will go live during the clean up. #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #viral #makethisviral #followus #bc #backcountry #garbage #busylife #helpmakeadiffernece #okanagan #keepbcbeautiful #bush ♬ We Will Rock You (2020 Remaster) - Nickelback

Blake founded OFTF to keep the Okanagan’s forests clean and to bring public awareness to the issue of illegal dumping and vandalism in the backcountry.

To learn more about OFTF and to volunteer, visit the Okanagan Forest Task Force Facebook Page.

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Jacqueline Gelineau

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