Group of local residents cleaning up the mess left behind by others

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Devynn Wiebe is a new mother but that doesn’t stop her from giving back to her community to help keep city sites clean.

“I’m a new mom and I used to be quite active equipment operating etc and I just had my baby seven months ago. It’s kind of boring for me, hanging around and the cabin fever in the house all the time, I’ve networked with a bunch of people through common interests.”

Wiebe says she has created a few groups and has received close to 400 people supporting her ideas.

“It’s actually grown pretty fast. We’ve already had a couple of meets where we have talked about the town and what we would like to do and what we can to stay busy and I didn’t think it would actually come to getting out and volunteering for something but I’ve met some really awesome people that do some great things and we decided that it would be good to clean up and set up a meet up and bring our friends and kids along.”

This past weekend, they did just that at the lookout in Fort St. John. She also posted in a local group on Facebook and was surprised to see so many others attend. She estimated that only six were originally coming but then there were 20 or more on the day of the event.

“We hauled away all the garbage, a huge truck load and we plan to do it again because it was so successful.”

Right now, they are aiming for every week to do a clean up at a local site. Wiebe wants people to understand that they are capable of making changes in the community and not rely on others.

“What we kind of call ourselves is ‘We Are The People’. There are people that always say ‘well, somebody should get on that’ or ‘somebody should really fix that’ or ‘someone should do something’ but we are the people, we should do something and we shouldn’t have to rely on everyone else to make a move. We want to set the example and gain momentum for people to take action.”

The next project for the group will be cleaning up the Beatton River (pictured above)/Photo: Devynn Wiebe

As of Tuesday, Wiebe estimates that over 40 people will be attending the next clean up which she has scheduled for the Beatton River at 1:00 p.m. on May 7. She has even had businesses offering to donate equipment if need be.

“There is a lot of support from the community and I think that this can get a lot bigger if we get some more directed support. We can motivate other communities to do these things themselves as well.”

While someone had beat the group to the punch of cleaning up most of the trash at the lookout, they left 20 or so bags behind. Wiebe and her group picked up all the bags and took them away. She says they also walked the fence line and the ditches looking for any garbage.

“While I may not be able to be there every weekend, that doesn’t mean that I can’t still organize it.”

For more information, visit the We Are The People Facebook page at:

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