What a mess!
Mother nature and youth benefit from event

Glen Vienneau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 24/00) - Mother nature has been kind so far to those taking part in the annual spring cleanup.

Groups involved in the cleanup were blessed with lots of sunshine on Saturday for the first day of the cleanup, which runs until May 28.

"It was a beautiful day for it, it couldn't be better. It really brings out the best in youth," said Erin McNeil, a member of the Baha'i Faith youth group.

This year the City of Yellowknife offered $30,000 in grants to 40 youth-orientated non-profit groups taking part, said Brian Kelln, program manager of the department of community services.

Sports groups, churches, schools and day- cares are among the groups represented.

"People were waving and honking the horn at you because they know you're involved with the cleanup," said Cecile Arden, while she and her daughter Neysa Roberts were combing the streets filling garbage bags.

Rick Nickerson was also out Saturday, joined by about 20 volunteers combing the grounds of Northland Trailer Park looking for trash.

Besides an abandoned trailer hitch Nickerson found in the park and litter at the mailboxes, last year's placement of permanent cement trash bins near the ball park helped keep the trailer park cleaner this year.

In some areas, however, trash was more than abundant.

"We had the area near the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool and it was dirty. It was really gross. Things (trash) that youths should not be exposed to," said McNeil.

McNeil said even though volunteers realize that some people will continue littering the streets and dumping trash in parks, a youthful outlook can put things into perspective.

"It's kind of like the old proverb about the glass being half empty or half full, so were choosing to look at it as half full, because if you focus on the negative, then you kind of get down about it," said McNeil.