Volunteers stand behind a pile of material removed from an abandoned homeless camp site adjacent to Piercy Creek. Photo supplied

Volunteers clean up mess left at abandoned Courtenay homeless camp

Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards step up after garbage was found at an abandoned campsite

Robin Harrison Special to The Record

Lack of suitable low-cost housing is forcing increasing numbers of people to set up camps in parks and on vacant private land.

Unfortunately, when these people move on, they often leave behind a mess of garbage and assorted items such as clothing, sleeping bags, tents and even mattresses. The municipalities and landowners are then responsible for the effort and cost of removing the garbage.

Such a situation occurred adjacent to Piercy Creek in south Courtenay where an exceptionally large area of garbage was found at an abandoned campsite. As some of the garbage had fallen into the creek and there was concern about possible leaching of toxic substances, a decision was made to clean up the site.

A work party of volunteers from Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards removed about half the garbage late last year with the City of Courtenay loaning tools and organizing a large dumpster to transfer the material to the landfill.

On March 30, 2019, another work party of 18 people including volunteers from Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards, Morrison Creek Stream Keepers, Comox Valley Nature and Comox Valley Land Trust, cleaned up the remaining garbage with the City again lending tools and arranging for a dumpster.

Several other nearby abandoned campsites strewn with garbage are far enough back from the creek that they don’t pose an immediate threat.

Just Posted

A look back at hand logging on Cortes Island

David Ellingsen explores his family’s logging roots with the help of his camera

Vancouver Island writer goes with the flow in River Tales

Crofton author documents life on the banks of the Cowichan River

EDITORIAL: If climate really is an emergency, then act like it

Communities busy declaring climate emergencies while not doing nearly enough to fix the problem

Vancouver Island man who pleaded guilty to beating over drug debt handed nine-year jail sentence

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Vancouver Island’s longest, steepest, zip line nears completion

Mount Washington aims to thrill with 2.3-km drop reaching speeds approaching 100 km/h

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read