Beer bottles, cans, and burnt out coals are what you would expect to see in a campsite after the May long weekend, but piles of trash bags and broken chairs?
It’s not what many local Harrison residents were expecting to see.
Since photos of the campsite were distributed by Global News, Harrison residents and Maple Ridge students are planning to go up this week to finish cleaning up the campsite. Camping at Harrison Lake this past May long were approximately three groups: Maple Ridge grad campers, a family, and a small group of 20 years olds.
I attended my friends annual May long camping trip to Harrison and was surprised when I saw dozens of cars at the entry way. Trucks, trailers, cars were lined up as I drove into the campsite. I was with the small group of 20 years olds and was surprised by the number of people crammed in the small area. I was awoken by the sound of gunshots on the Sunday night and was alarmed to see piles of garbage bags scattered in the grads campsite.
Grad camping is a major milestone in a teen’s life, but simply putting garbage into bags and containing your garbage in a pile isn’t cleaning up. It’s laziness and inconsiderate to not only the Harrison residents, but to the environment and returning campers. One of my friends took a fridge home to dispose of properly because grad campers didn’t want to take it back home with them.
Colton Larsen, a fellow camper and member of the BC Jeep club, said that he and other members went up to Harrison on Saturday to organize a proper clean up. The BC Jeep club organizes monthly clean ups in order to keep places like Harrison open, even though they don’t cause the mess themselves.
When asked why the BC Jeep club cleans up other peoples messes Larsen said, “4X4 clubs are getting a bad wrap in the Lower Mainland because of it [campers leaving garbage]… random people have giant fires and leave garbage, then the off-roaders get blamed and end up cleaning it up to fix their reputation”.
In this case 4X4 clubs weren’t the ones to blame for the mess made at Harrison Lake during May long weekend, but instead Maple Ridge grad campers. “People go up and camp, leave their trash knowing ‘someone’ will clean it up. That ‘someone’ ends up being regular family campers and 4×4 clubs”, said Larsen.
Feature Image by Kyle Pastulovic via Facebook