Local residents will roll up their sleeves this weekend to clear Ipperwash Beach of pounds of trash.
The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) is hosting an "end of summer" beach cleanup with support from the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Healthy Watershed Specialist Jessica Van Zwol said this is the ninth year the Ipperwash cleanup has taken place.
"Last year we had beautiful weather and 30 volunteers participate and so we're hoping to see that many out again," she said. "This event involves both the Centre Ipperwash Community Association as well as the Municipality of Lambton Shores. Volunteers can come and clean up the beach as well as east and west Parkway Drive."
Van Zwol said some years, anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds of trash is collected during the cleanup.
"[The most common] piece of garbage that we collect are cigarette butts, followed by plastic wrappers. But then again, we'll also find diapers, various plastics, glass containers, rugs, takeout containers, and a lot of things that you would be curious about how they ended up on the beach in the first place," said Van Zwol.
Volunteers will meet at the Centre Ipperwash boat launch and will be provided with latex gloves, masks, and garbage bags. Participants are asked to wear closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately.
Those involved will also receive a treat for their hard work. Free ice cream will be provided by the Ipperwash Beach Club.
Volunteers are asked to RSVP ahead of the event by September 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ipperwash Beach Cleanup is one of many events the SCRCA is planning for this fall. Van Zwol said it's exciting to have more events penciled in in the calendar again.
"It's looking like our outdoor events this September will be going ahead, especially if all of our participants follow the COVID-19 guidelines of physically distancing, keeping your masks on, and I think we'll just have a great time."
Some of the upcoming events include a presentation by Dr. Dianne Saxe on why wetlands matter, a workshop on fish monitoring in the Sydenham River, and a shrub planting event in Petrolia. Further details can be found on the SCRCA's website.