UPDATE: Due to the newly announced stay-at-home order, the Weeping Willow Tree Great Lakes Charity has cancelled their future April cleanup dates.
A Collingwood charity is hoping to normalize community cleanups.
Weeping Willow Tree Great Lakes Charity was founded in July 2019 by executive director Kayla Tanzos. She sought to help clean up the shorelines in Collingwood and Georgian Bay, but also organizes cleanups along Collingwood’s trails.
“This will be our third summer, but last summer was very minimal because of COVID,” said Tanzos. “We’re noticing there are a lot of trails that are really messy, so we’re willing to do that too.”
“It’s important because our water will not last if we keep destroying it,” she said.
On Saturday, the group had its first public cleanup at Sunset Point. Tanzos said about 11 people attended, and wore their own masks. They were given garbage bags, gloves, and sanitizer for their task and a bamboo toothbrush for their trouble.
Tanzos said 15 bags of garbage were collected that day.
“Before COVID is was really bad. We were doing cleanups almost every other day. After spring there’s always lot of garbage. We were lucky this year to be able to start in March,” she said.
Tanzos said the cleanups are limited to Collingwood spots this month, but will be expanding to Wasaga Beach, Craigleith and Thornbury spots in the coming months.
“We’re hoping society becomes more comfortable with doing things like this. We’re hoping people will see us doing it and want to join,” she said.
The next community cleanup will be taking place Tues., April 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the trails behind the Shoppers Drug Mart on First Street. There will also be a clean up on Wed., April 7 at the Terminals.
For a full schedule of cleanup dates, follow Weeping Willow Tree Great Lakes Charity on Facebook here.