By Breanne Massey, Pioneer Staff

Its a test of endurance for some and a simple act of philanthropy for others.

The sixth annual Valley Pride clean up day is coming back to the Columbia Valley at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 25th this spring with a healthy concern for the environment.

Since the first clean up, when we cleaned up years of accumulated refuse, we have seen a reduction in the amount of litter we gather, said Milt Deck, spokesperson for community service clubs behind Valley Pride. But, there is still a large quantity we gather every year. I would hate to see what our valley would be like if we didnt continue to pick up the litter.

The environmentally-geared event is hoping to attract volunteers from Windermere to Edgewater to help make this years effort a success. It aims to clean up the collection of litter that has accumulated in the region since last spring and requires a helping hand from everybody.

We are making a difference, but we still have a long way to go, said Mr. Deck. We need more responders, there are many areas we havent been able to clean up due to a lack of help. Lets build pride and keep our valley free of litter.

Students from JA Laird, Eileen Madson, Edgewater and Windermere elementary schools are expected to pitch in on Earth Day (April 22nd), a few days before the general community clean up day.

Valley Foods is providing students with snacks to reward their efforts to help beautify the area, while Tim Hortons is offering up coffee and donuts to community groups.

Businesses in the Columbia Valley have jumped on board with green thumbs, said longterm Valley Pride organizer David Gee. Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Kicking Horse Coffee, Eagle Ranch Resort and Panorama Mountain Resort will be sending their employees out to help clean up public spaces.

On Saturday morning, each community will have their own meeting areas and times. See the ad on page 9 of this week’s Pioneer online edition for details about Valley Pride in Invermere, Windermere, Edgewater, Radium and Wilmer. Garbage bags and snacks will be provided to participants, rain or shine.

Lets clean up the towns, urged Mr. Gee.

Earth Day in Canada is a campaign that addresses the importance of taking a stand in the name of making Earth a cleaner and healthier place to live. Its overall goal is to reduce the carbon footprint by 20 per cent with a 2020 deadline nationally, which falls in line with the global efforts to reduce emissions.