Spruce Up the Sturgeon, May 7, 2006

The eighth annual Spruce Up the Sturgeon event occurred on Sunday May 7 this year. Warm sunny weather drew just over 70 St. Albert residents to the banks of the Sturgeon to help pick up 600 kilograms of trash.

BLESS members and directors were actively involved with City of St. Albert staff Anna Royer and Lorraine Vaillant on the committee that organized and ran the river bank cleanup. The logistics of organizing such an event cover a wide range of activities, from obtaining gloves and trash bags and vehicles to carry away the trash to publicizing and promoting the event.

Dan Stoker set up his ever popular aquatic display, as well as the BLESS display and a map of Lois Hole Provincial Park along the Red Willow Trail behind city hall on Sunday. Dan also brought out some fledgling willow wands and organized a planting along the shores of the Sturgeon, a precursor to the main River Edge Enhancement Project planting scheduled to occur on June 18, Father's Day.

The Loomis's (BLESS vice-president Stuart and Rosalind) helped out on the organizing committee and worked behind the scenes to help setup and take down on Sunday. Dan Stoker also worked with the organizing committee this year to help publicize the event with a letter to the editor and a notice on the Gazette "What's On" pages.

Many BLESS members and directors could be found on the riverbanks that sunny spring Sunday, trash bags in hand, working alongside St. Albert's Mayor Chalifoux and many other St. Albert residents to spruce up our river.

St. Albert businesses also made significant contributions to the success of Spruce Up the Sturgeon. John Power's Dairy Queen provided cold ice cream bars and Chad Jenkins of Tim Hortons fame supplied bottled water, coffee, juice, doughnuts, and muffins to refresh and motivate hard working residents. Tim Hortons corporate office also had a supply of t-shirts on hand to give away to volunteers.

A great big thanks goes out to all those folks involved for their hard work and public spirit in keeping our river looking great.

Signing up to Spruce up the Sturgeon A bonus, the first fresh leaves of spring
Dan's aquatic critters 
 Dan organized a willow planting along the river in advance of the main REEP planting scheduled for Father's Day in June
 St. Albert's Mayor Chalifoux dives right in, garbage bag in hand

more photos...