Pugwash volunteers are ready for Communities in Bloom’s annual litter picking. This year, the clean-up will be on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day. Submitted photo

For the past 10 years, members of the Communities in Bloom (CIB) organization in Pugwash have been cleaning up litter.

They’ll be at it once again to celebrate Earth Day. On April 22, an enthusiastic group of volunteers will fan out to scour the ditches and roadsides in the Village of Pugwash and beyond. Folks will meet at 9 a.m. at the Chesnutt Café (formerly the Chatterbox Café) on Durham Street. Children are welcome. Time commitment is no problem.

Co-ordinator Maureen Woodlock states that some people tire after an hour while others keep going all day. She remembers one year when two enthusiastic volunteers were still working at 4 p.m.

“They kept seeing one more piece of garbage that they couldn’t leave behind.”

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Volunteers are issued orange t-shirts, gloves and garbage bags. A limited number of litter picking tools are available. T-shirts and bottled water are provided by the Municipality of Cumberland and the gloves and garbage bags by the village or the county.  A dumpster is provided free of charge from the county and is placed on the salt mine wharf, with permission from the salt mine, and will remain there from April 20 to 24. During that time, the dumpster may be used by citizens to clean up their own yards and ditches.

Join the volunteers. Come to the cafe to meet your fellow pickers, have your litter picking territory assigned on a village map, get your litter picking gear and be in a group photo. Traditionally, the Salt Mine does litter pick-up on the Crowley Road from the mine to Salt Mine Lake. Areas of the Gulf Shore Road, Cape Cliff Road and Pugwash River Road are looked after by residents.  An area map and list of people involved can be located on Communities in Bloom and Keep Garbage Beneficial pages on Facebook. To commit to cleaning a section of road and be put on the map, contact Woodlock at 902-694-7366.

All this is part of a bigger province-wide program run by Clean Nova Scotia called The Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up. This program involves thousands of volunteers across the province whose aim is to combat litter and beautify the province. For more information visit the Clean NS website at http://www.clean.ns.ca. The site states that, “In 2016, over 14,500 people participated in more than 276 clean-ups. Teams picked up almost 10,000 bags of garbage and over 1,500 bags of recyclables.” Their records show that coffee cups and cigarette butts are easily the most prevalent form of roadside litter.

Be a part of the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up. Turn out on April 22 at the Chesnutt Café, Pugwash, and help keep our area looking beautiful.