The Okanagan Forest task force and members of the Lake Country community removed 2,557.36 pounds of garbage from the woods on Saturday. (Contributed)

More than a tonne of trash collected from forest

The clean-up consisted of 11 people working to better the environment

The Okanagan Forest Task Force and members of the Lake Country community cleaned up a significant amount of garbage from the woods on Saturday.

The clean-up crew collected garbage along Beaver Lake Road in Lake Country, working their way from the Beaver Lake lookout to the vacation lodge.

What was expected to be a small clean-up turned into a large outing, said Kane Blake, president of the task force.

The volunteers were able to gather a staggering 2,557.36 pounds of garbage from the area over a day’s work.

“A quick day turned out to be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” said Blake. “We got a lot of garbage out of the bush. We even cleaned up a grad party spot. There was a lot of garbage still lying around.”

The Okanagan Forest Task Force is a not-for-profit organization formed in August of 2016. The members consist of outdoor enthusiasts who are concerned with the growing epidemic of illegal dumping in Okanagan forests, recreational areas and along waterways.

READ MORE: Okanagan Centre Road in Lake Country re-opens after construction

Blake said he is becoming increasingly concerned with the carelessness of those littering. In addition to organizing clean-up events, Blake plans on visiting schools to better educate the community on the harm garbage dumping has on the environment.

“I’m personally trying to get into schools to help teach kids the effects of illegal dumping because there are so many effects it has our environment, our wildlife, people.”

“We pulled out (on Saturday) a few very large jugs of oil and of transmission fluid. Once you get that into streams people drink that, there’s fish, there are animals that drink out of that. There’s a big chain of effects as soon as garbage starts getting into streams and into wildlife.”

The task force plans on doing at least two or three more cleanups before the snow falls, teaming up with ABC Recycling to clear out a number of abandoned vehicles left in the forest. They will also be setting up trail cams to catch those littering in frequent dumping spots.

To volunteer or contact the Okanagan Forest Task Force, visit their website.

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