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What lies beneath the snow

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 12/04) - Brian Kelln, program manager at Yellowknife City Hall, has been thinking warm thoughts.

Once spring thaw melts away the picturesque Yellowknife snow, he knows there is much work to be done.

And as many hands make the work go faster, the city is again preparing for the annual spring clean up, he said.

Each year, the city offers its spring cleanup grant program for Yellowknife's community groups. Though any group can take part, preference is given to youth-oriented organizations. Designed to encourage youngsters to help keep the city clean, Kelln said the program also instills civic pride in those who see the impact of littering.

"We usually get about 30 or 40 youth groups applying each year," Kelln said of the program, around for more than 15 years.

Another incentive to the program is the $30,000 in cash, which will be equally distributed among those qualified to apply, he said.

"It would cost the city more to do the cleanup itself," he said. "This way, the city's youth benefit as well."

For example, money earned by the youth for doing the clean up can be used to purchase equipment for clubs such as youth curling, skiing or swimming, he said.

Kelln said the city will be divided into sections for each group to tackle. Depending on the concentration of garbage in that area, the size could range from several city blocks or the entire Frame Lake area.

"It will probably take three or four hours per area," he said. "In the last six years, we've seen a reduction in the amount of garbage."