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South Shore clean up to become annual event to raise awareness of unique habitat

By John Lowry
More than area residents in scattered groups were on the hunt along the south shoreline of the County last Saturday – on the hunt for garbage that is. And thanks to their efforts, the South Shore is a much cleaner place today.

The volunteers scoured the beaches and access roads of the south shore and filled more than 25 industrial sized garbage bags. Some of the more unusual items collected included everything from discarded tires and construction debris to a large marine flare.

The venture was organized by the South Shore Joint Initiative (SSJI) which is a coalition of partner organizations and individuals working to protect the south shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) which stretches from Point Petre to Prince Edward Point.

“Our primary goal of course was to clean up garbage strewn along the shoreline and access roads,” said Cheryl Anderson, event co-ordinator, “with the secondary goal of increasing awareness of the scenic beauty of the unique habitat to be found along the lakeshore.”

Kathy O’Connell, who assisted Anderson in organizing the event, noted they were “extremely pleased with the turnout of volunteers and their hard work to gather up litter.”

Most of the volunteers were local residents but some traveled from as far as Peterborough to help out.

“I believe we were very successful in raising awareness of what a special and unique area this is,” O’Connell said. “Our hope is to make this an annual event and I believe we got off to a fantastic start.”

O’Connell also expressed appreciation for the help received from the municipality which donated the use of a dumpster bin to collect the refuse as well as a large quantity of clear garbage bags.

Following the cleanup, participants gathered at the historic Hudgin House on Ostrander Point Road for a special wrap up event.

Councillor John Hirsch, President of the SSJI, acted as the event’s emcee. He and mayor Steve Ferguson gave brief talks thanking the participants for their efforts.

Terry and Shannon Moodie and Gregor Stuart received bottles of maple syrup donated by Vader’s, as prizes awarded for some of the more unusual items found.

Musical entertainment was provided by folk-pop artists Kyra and Tully, a husband and wife duo from Kingston. Their repertoire included a song written specifically to celebrate the beauty of the South Shore. Fine Grinds, a County coffee truck, provided coffee and cake.

Also on hand was Elis Ziegler, of the Curious Goat General Store on Old Milford Road, who offered products made from goat’s milk. Dick Bird offered a selection of hand-made bird houses with all proceeds going to the event.

Click here for more information on the South Shore Joint Initiative 

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