After noticing a large amount of garbage left behind by other campers at a Shuswap park, a father and son duo took it upon themselves to clean up the mess.
While fishing at White Lake on Saturday, Oct. 5, 10-year-old Brock Boreham and his father Keith had seen other campers taking photos of and complaining about garbage left behind by others who had camped there. When the Borehams returned home from their trip, Brock was still wondering if the garbage had been taken care of. On Brock’s initiative, the two headed back out to the White Lake Provincial Park campground after school on Monday to clean up the garbage themselves.
Armed with shovels, tarps and gumboots, the pair filled a garbage can and emptied it into the back of a trailer. They repeated this process eight times until the three campsites and restroom area were free of garbage, the latter being in the worst shape.
“Basically it looked like it was their last night of the season and they cleaned out their camper and they left it for somebody to take care of,” Keith said.
Keith posted photos of his son’s hard work to a Shuswap Facebook group which received more than 600 reactions on Facebook and garnered more than 100 comments. Some of the comments ask where the park attendants were in cleaning up the area. Keith asks another question in return: “Even if there were caretakers there, why should they have to clean up after that?”
According to a BC Parks webpage on White Lake, the campground is fully serviced between May 15 and Sept. 7, but after that services like garbage collection may not be continued.
“We camp and fish there a lot throughout the summer,” Keith said. “We do a lot of camping and its pack out what you pack in and you leave it a little better for the next person to enjoy. I’m glad that kind of rubbed off on [Brock].”
Brock has been camping at White Lake since he was three years old, and evidently has a passion for keeping the area clean.
“First of all, why do you do that? There’s like nothing OK about it,” Brock said. “Whoever did this should be sorry and should get punished.”
Brock is acutely aware of how litter affects not only the campsite but the planet as a whole.
“If you put something into an ocean, that takes a long time to break down,” he said. “Greenhouse gasses and exhaust and stuff like that pollutes the world – but garbage does too. It just does it the other way; it goes into the ground.”
The garbage collected at the campsite cost the Borehams $5 to dispose of at the dump, a small price to pay for a clean campsite, said Keith.