Our volunteers are our superheroes

Angela Parker—City of Cornwall
Our volunteers are our superheroes

Ontario’s fifth annual Provincial Day of Action on Litter took place on May 14. According to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, it was an opportunity for the province to “empower citizens, municipalities and businesses across the province to unite under the common cause of creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable environment for ourselves and future generations.”

My Environmental Services colleagues and I participated by picking up litter around our office building. However, the real litter clean-up superheroes are the City’s Adopt-a-Street volunteers. There are nearly 100 volunteers who commit their time and effort every month to help to beautify our city. The Adopt-a-Street program collects hundreds of bags of litter every year from our streets, parks, and recreational paths. Be sure to thank them next time you see them!

The City’s popular Trash to Treasure event is back for 2024. This two-day event includes a community yard sale on Saturday, June 1 and a giveaway day on Sunday, June 2. If you’re looking to sell or give away gently used, unwanted household items, be sure to register at www.cornwall.ca so your property can be added to the digital Treasure Map. New this year, treasure hunters can use the map to view the types of treasure available at each location before embarking on their journey.

When I was attending Concordia University, I volunteered in the reptile, fish and amphibian department of the Eco Museum in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, QC. Getting to know wildlife through this opportunity was fascinating. I even got to contribute to the organization’s conservation efforts for the Western Chorus Frog through my research. Why does protecting this little frog matter? All frogs play important roles in their ecosystems. They manage insect populations, provide a food source for herons, otters, and other predators, and they are good indicators of the current health of ecosystems and watersheds. Turtles play the same important role. World Turtle Day is May 23. It is a time to celebrate turtles globally. All Ontario turtles hibernate throughout the winter and come out in spring. Start keeping your eyes open for turtles trying to cross busy roads. To learn more about helping turtles, go to ontarioturtle.ca.

Want to conserve water? Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School is selling rain barrels to raise money for their school. Rain barrels are an excellent way to provide clean water for your garden. Rainwater from a barrel is just as good as rain from the sky, which keeps outdoor plants happy and healthy. Order your rain barrel at rainbarrel.ca/ecolenotredame.

The City’s Youth for Climate Action Working Group is still collecting native plants for their pollinator garden which will be established at the Benson Centre. If you’d like to donate a plant for their garden, email sustainability@cornwall.ca or call 613-930-2787, ext. 2507.

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