A presentation to council led to meaningful action in helping clean up a nearby trail for some Shoreline Community Middle School students.
An exploratory committee formed in inclusive education teacher Emily Menzies’ sustainability class yielded a plan to start clearing litter on the school’s neglected trail.
The garbage was washing into the Gorge, which had students worry it was “choking the whales” when it washed into the ocean, Menzies said.
A twice-a-week litter pickup program for six weeks led to five bags full of garbage and a handful of needles, said Rebecca Wolf Gage, a Grade 7 student who was one of the presenters.
Students in Menzies’ class helped catalogue the garbage and chart it on a map, which helped bolster the evidence presented to council in December, Menzies said.
In the latest proposed budget, View Royal council has agreed to provide a garbage bin and a recycling bin that will go on the relatively modest-sized trail. The city has agreed to garbage pickups, while the recycling will be the school’s responsibility.
Clearing the area has led students to play games like manhunt on the trail, Menzies said.
The project was possible due to the team effort, emphasized Wolf Gage. “Some were reporting, some were making signs – busy picking up garbage and the compost and the recycling.”
Mayor David Screech said the presentation led to council cleaning up the area surrounding the trail more often. “I’m obviously impressed that the students took the time to get the support,” he said.
“We agreed that we could have done a better job on it – and to get together and get the job done.”