If you happened to be entering or leaving Dundas via Cootes Drive this weekend, and if you weren't so consumed with Christmas related activities so as not to notice, then you may have seen Frank and Gisela.
I first noticed them on Saturday, clad in their orange safety vests, a pick-up tool in one hand and a garbage bag in the other. Frank was crossing the grassy median which separates the eastbound from the westbound lanes and Gisela was picking up trash in the culvert that dips down beyond the north shoulder. Of course I didn't know their names yet, but I was immediately impressed by their activity.
Seeing them again today, I felt compelled to stop and speak with them and so found a spot to park and went over to introduce myself. Mainly I just wanted to thank them and let them know that I really appreciated what they were doing.
What a lovely couple. It was a pleasure to meet them and we had a very nice conversation. They let me know that they were volunteers with Stewards of Cootes Watershed and their mission this weekend was to clean up garbage in the wetlands that border this section of road. This is being done in an effort to prevent it from being washed into the waters of the Desjardins Canal and eventually into Cootes Paradise.
Just this weekend alone, Frank and Gisela had cleaned up over 80 pounds of garbage from paper and plastic to discarded diapers and condoms. Gisela let me know that she found it somewhat disheartening that people will still discard their garbage in this way and on this point I'm sure we can all agree.
Stewards of Cootes Watershed is an organization that I know well and one that I will be writing more about in the future. Please visit their website at http://www.stewardsofcootes.ca/ and consider volunteering or supporting them.
This group is certainly making a difference in Dundas and in the Cootes area waterways and they deserve our thanks. If you get a chance, please say thanks to Frank and Gisela as well, a wonderful couple volunteering their time to make Dundas a better place.