Farmworkers extend invitation to help in river cleanup

Farmworker and camper on the SImilkameen River extend invitation to community to help in river clean up

An invitation to help

I’ve been coming to Keremeos every summer for five years now. Since there aren’t as many opportunities for good, stable farm work in Quebec, like many of us, I come here with the hope for some adventure and practical work.

After five years,  it’s easy for me because I have a place to stay. I work for a good farmer who’s paying me well and I know where to find all the facilities I need. But it wasn’t always like that. I’m used to looking for work or having to quit a job when the farmer is not respecting his employees. I’m used to sleeping in my tent anywhere or in my car in a parking lot because there is often no other option.

Today I see all of these new people arriving with the same hopes and I see them with no place to stay for a while. The campground area has been hard to manage and take care of, but people still need a place to set up their tents and look or wait for work to come. As long as the people will come and stay on the riverbed, we will have the same issues. There is work here that needs to be done and the transient workers are necessary in this regard. So I think it is time now to do something about the situation that is obviously not going as well.

When I go to the campground, the first thing I see that needs to be cared for is the ecological part. I care  a lot about the river and the basic services we need to take care of it. I’m aware of the laws behind Crown land and the Village of Keremeos. Regardless, I still try to find solutions, because the only way around is straight through. The only thing we can do is try again. And I know that  by trying, putting our energy all togetherinto something positive will just attract more positive changes.

So my goal is to join my friends at the campground, every week to clean with them and talk with them aboutwhat they can do to protect the river and the place where they are staying. To educate and motivate them to care and act in a positive direction. I’m not alone in this project, I have friends who also come here every year and see the same things as me, and I also met folks here, association, who are excited about my idea and willing to join us.

The sportsmen’s associations, FACTOS, my friends and I are inviting you to be a part of a big cleaning along the river, from the campground area to Pine Park. It will happen twice this year, the next one will be late October.  We wish to create an opportunity to all get together, play, have fun, talk and learn about each other.

We wish to heal the fracture between us by doing something together for the town and the river. Please join us, on July 14 at the camp ground or at Pine Park, at 1 p.m., to clean the river, and the heart of the summer community.

Tania Frechette,