JORDANTOWN, N.S. - The rail-bed trail looks a whole lot better for about 10 kilometres west of Digby.
Two-dozen volunteers spent Dec. 3 crawling up and down steep banks and fighting through thorny brush, to pick up other people’s garbage.
In the end they had gathered enough junk to fill to overflowing a 30-yard dumpster and then some – two couches and a fridge wouldn’t fit in the dumpster and went straight to Digby Salvage and Disposal on the Upper Cross Road, plus volunteers planned to get two more couches to the dump Monday.
Greg Thomas of Digby Salvage and Disposal says the garbage weighed a total of 3.5 metric tons.
“This was an awesome turnout and it was great to see all that garbage in the dumpster instead of on the side of the trail,” said JJ Scott, treasurer with the Digby County ATV Club. “This is a great improvement but we still need to trim some limbs back and get the road surface graded but things are definitely going in the right direction.”
Volunteers combed the brush on both sides of the rail-bed for four hours, from Hwy 101 to Jordantown through to Bloomfield and a ways into North Range.
They used winches to drag up dozens of tires, fridges, stoves and a dozen mattresses. They filled heavy-duty garbage bags with countless cans, bottles, coffee cups and every imaginable piece of junk.
The volunteers then loaded the trash onto trucks, side by sides, ATVs and trailers and hauled it to a dumpster set up in Jordantown.
“I was really grateful to see so many from the Digby County ATV Club and others, young and old, men and women, ATVers and hikers, all working together to clean up this community trail,” said Jimmy MacAlpine, Warden of the Municipality of the District of Digby. “This is a big trail and we’re going to need the community’s help to keep it in good shape.”
The Municipality waived the tipping fees - Digby Salvage and Disposal donated the use, delivery and pick up of the 30-yard dumpster, and Greg Thomas even came out to open the construction and demolition site on a Sunday afternoon so the volunteers could unload a truck-full that just wouldn’t fit in the dumpster.
The Digby County ATV Club and the Municipality of the District of Digby organized the clean up as part of their efforts to develop the rail-bed corridor into a multi-use trail. The Municipality is in the process of applying for a letter of authority to develop, maintain and promote over 40 km of trail from Smiths Cove to Weymouth.
“That first section looks so much better,” said Jonathan Riley, Trails and Open Space coordinator with the Municipality. “We’ve got lots more to do but when you see that dumpster full of trash, you know you’ve done something. It feels pretty good.”