SLOCAN VALLEY—Summer on the river will be much less messy and a whole lot safer this year, and you can be a part of it.
An active group now calling itself “Riverwatch” is inviting you to join them to raise consciousness about safety issues and litter problems on the Slocan River. At a meeting on Wednesday, July 13, the group approved a logo design and poster campaign to encourage people to “Keep our river alive ~ Keep yourself alive!”
Watch for the posters, designed and produced on a volunteer basis by Sonya Parfiniuk, soon be at all commercial and recreational outlets in the lower Slocan Valley. The initial run of signs will depict the river’s surface, and then the snags and garbage that lie underneath, with the question: “Do you know what’s under the surface?” The next posters will have a description of some of the hazards of running the river, with a colour code: green for safe, blue for be careful, black for dangerous.
Don Munro, Regional District Area H Director, has arranged for three bear-proof garbage cans to be placed along the river at Passmore, Crescent Valley and probably Slocan Park. He will approach Area I about getting another disposal unit for Shoreacres. Ben Legebokoff is negotiating yet another garbage extraction site, a wharf to be placed near Slocan Park, where people will be able to drop their litter off without even having to get out of the river.
The Rec Commission is arranging to have 100 mesh bags created for a trial run. These will be purchased outright or returned as part of the deposit system for tubes, which will be rented this year by the Spokes bike repair and collectibles shop in downtown Slocan Park.
Some concerns were expressed that the sale of these bags would encourage drunkenness on the river. The general feeling of the meeting was that their main function would be to keep garbage of all kinds out of the river, especially plastic bags, cans and bottles. “As far as drunkenness goes,” said meeting moderator Derek Murphy, “the RCMP have informed us that they are watching the river very closely for people drinking excessively, and they want to put this message across loud and clear. People need to realize they’re watching.”
Plans are also underway for the construction of kiosks with large maps of the river. The map committee is negotiating with Columbia Power Corporation for help with these big displays, as CPC has expressed an interest in drawing attention to the fish enhancement structures the corporation recently placed in the river.
These maps and other signage will be placed at access/launching points, and will eventually be colour-coded for danger. The maps will indicate kilometrage, Mile 0 being Shoreacres, and will correspond to signs placed all along the river. Legebokoff was given the go-ahead by the meeting to purchase the kilometrage signs, and various Search and Rescue persons agreed to place them.
The Riverwatch idea, an exciting citizen-driven initiative, is going full speed ahead, accomplishing vast amounts in a very short period of time. Of course, lots of volunteer energy is needed, both to get the message out and to help with construction and ongoing maintenance. If you love our river and want to help, call the Rec Commission at 226-0008 and Craig will be delighted to sign you up.
Submitted by Moe Lyons
View all news articles