COQUITLAM, BC, Oct. 12, 2021 – Coquitlam’s streams, trails and natural spaces are safeguarded by hundreds of people who help conserve and enhance the environment every year.
Coquitlam celebrated its environmental volunteers and stewardship groups on Saturday, Oct. 2 at its annual Environmental Volunteer Celebration, held outdoors at Mundy Park this year to comply with public health protocols. About 70 people enjoyed a bagged lunch and activities such as a guided bat walk, painting of pollinator-themed fence panels and tree planting. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about the City’s first Environmental Sustainability Plan, ask questions and provide feedback.
Honouring Coquitlam’s Environmental Heroes
The event recognizes the approximately 20 environmental groups and the hundreds of volunteers who work year-round on projects that benefit the 2,400-plus acres of parks and natural spaces in Coquitlam, including 109 active parks, 121 kilometres of City trails, and many kilometres of creeks, streams and rivers.
Their invaluable contributions include hands-on field work such as litter cleanups, invasive weed removal, habitat restoration and planting; public education events such as salmon releases; advocacy at all levels of government; and behind-the-scenes activities such as event organizing and fundraising.
Adopt a Public Space or Amenity
The City encourages environmental volunteerism in many ways, including a series of programs that encourage individuals or groups to adopt a public space or amenity, keep it clean and report any issues to the City. These include:
- Adopt-a-Catch Basin, recently introduced to help keep the City’s 16,000-plus catch basins clear of leaves and debris (www.coquitlam.ca/adoptacatchbasin);
- Adopt-a-Street, which last year had 152 volunteers taking care of 182 kilometres of road, lanes and walkways (www.coquitlam.ca/adoptastreet);
- Adopt-a-Trail, which has approximately 120 active volunteers (www.coquitlam.ca/adoptapark); and
- Other adoption programs for dog parks, pollinator hotels, sports and little libraries, dugouts or benches.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Coquitlam residents interested in helping the environment are encouraged to join a local environmental organization or sign up at www.coquitlam.ca/volunteer as a City volunteer to take part in activities such as invasive plant removal from City parks, tree planting, and lending a hand at environmental events.
Through the City’s Bad Seed program, volunteers can help to identify and pull invasive plants throughout Coquitlam’s public spaces (www.coquitlam.ca/badseed).
As well, hundreds of people volunteer throughout the year with the City’s Park Spark initiative, which includes planting, weed-pulling and other maintenance at City parks (www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark).
Have a Say on Coquitlam’s New Environmental Strategy
Residents have until Friday, Oct. 15 to provide feedback on City’s first Environmental Sustainability Plan through https://letstalkcoquitlam.ca/enviroplan. The plan will consolidate and link the City’s various environment-related goals, objectives, plans and policies and combine them with new goals, strategies and actions. It will kick into action in 2022 with actions addressing climate change, development, transportation, waste, water and nature. The draft plan can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/enviroplan.
Other Ways to Do Your Part for the Environment
Help protect Coquitlam’s green spaces and network of creeks, streams and rivers by keeping chemicals and toxins out of City catch basins (storm drains):
- Paint yellow fish near catch basins in your neighbourhood with a free City kit (contact firstname.lastname@example.org);
- Wash cars on the lawn or at a car wash, and sweep walkways and driveways rather than hosing them down;
- Don’t use pesticides in your yard – visit www.coquitlam.ca/pesticides for alternatives;
- Fix oil and transmission leaks and recycle all used oil and antifreeze;
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/wastewizard and search for safe disposal locations for chemicals (see www.rcbc.ca for disposal of hot tub and pool chemicals);
- During renovation and construction projects, keep dirt, paint and wet concrete away from storm drains and streams; and
- Keep pets away from streams – animal waste is polluting, and pets can erode streambanks, cause siltation and disturb fish and wildlife.
Look for the Watercourse Protection page at www.coquitlam.ca/environment to learn more about how Coquitlam is protecting local creeks, streams and rivers.
City of Coquitlam