At first glance the beach appears clear of debris. At the end of 60 minutes however, the students of Philip Jungen’s class have three bags full of junk piled in the parking lot at Pat Bay park. Then there’s the stuff that’s too big to bag, including a rubber tire filled with Styrofoam and a piece of Styrofoam 1.5 metres long and 30 cm. thick.
“We’ve been involved in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for a number of years. This is the first year though that it’s been in the spring,” Jungen said. “It’s great to see the differences between what we’ve collected on this very beach in the fall, as well as in the spring.”
The Grade 4 and 5 students documented each and every piece of trash they found during the spring cleaning on the shores of Patricia Bay.
“Sometimes the best learning is right outside our classroom door,” Jungen said. “The kids get so much out of it.”
“We’re doing a beach cleanup,” explained Rosie Johannessen, 11. “It’s to help the environment … There are lots of sea creatures and if they’re eating it, it’s not good.”
The keen kids of Deep Cove elementary cleared the beach from Tseycum to the picnic area on West Saanich Road. Students removed shoreline litter while learning about the dangers it poses to ecosystems and wildlife, as well as people and communities.
“At school we’re doing Planet Protectors,” said Sarah Peschard, 10. It’s a group dedicated to the environment, taking on tasks around the school, including litter-less lunch on Wednesdays.
“And we want the beach clean,” Johannessen added.
“People want to have a memorable summer without the trash,” Peschard agreed.
The national cleanup will take place from Sept. 17 to 25 (visit http://shorelinecleanup.ca for information).