Burnaby man cleans creek, encourages local actions on Earth Day

This Earth Day, one Burnaby man is taking local action and encouraging others to do the same as part of the global event.

Martin Kendell, founder of the Clean Up Burnaby Campaign, got knee deep in Chubb Creek Monday to clean out the garbage he says has begun to smother the creek’s ecosystem.

The creek, which is just north of his apartment building, began to suffer more than a year ago when a temporary bus stop was moved onto the section of Gilmore Avenue that runs above the creek.

“A bunch of garbage has gone into it because there’s an overpass where people wait for the bus and they don’t throw stuff into the garbage so the garbage, unfortunately, goes into the creek,” Kendell said.

“So, I’m going to wade in there and get most of that garbage out of there.”

Kendell began his clean up campaign three years ago, tackling streets, parks, greenways and waterways in his city.

This year, he says his campaign has resulted in the collection of about 400 pounds of garbage.

“I basically just wanted a cleaner community so I stepped up and I’ve been doing that ever since,” he said.

Part of his efforts have included successfully petitioning the city to install a garbage can about 30 feet north of the overpass for people waiting for the bus to throw their trash into.

“You can see beverage containers, all sorts of random garbage (in the creek),” he said.

The bus stop was originally moved there from in front of the Gilmour Place development, he says.

Next, Kendell says he’d like to see another garbage can added to the south side of the bridge, and perhaps the occasional visit from a bylaw enforcement officer to catch the litterers.

But for now, he’s hoping his action on Monday will provide some relief to the critters who call the creek home.

“I’ll go into the creek, and keep grabbing garbage and pulling it out and we’ll keep going until we can get everything we can,” he said.

He adds if everyone helped out in their “own small way,” a large difference could be made.

“It’s as small as if you have a piece of garbage just take it with you and throw it into a garbage can, that’s all you have to do,” he said.

With files from David Nadalini.