London

You'll need garbage bags to join this new London hiking club

Londoner Kevin McKay founded the Clean Sweep Hiking Club in London after a recent trip to Algonquin Park. He was discouraged when he found trash on his hike. That's when he decided to start his club back home in London.

The Clean Sweep Hiking Club met for the first time in May

The 'Clean Sweep' hikers met for the first time on May 26. (Clean Sweep Hiking Club/Facebook)

It's the hiking club with a social conscience.

London's new Clean Sweep Hiking Club launched last month and asks participants to pick up trash as they hike.

"I've always had this love for the environment but I've never really done anything about it," said Kevin McKay who founded the club last month. 

Kevin McKay founded the Clean Sweep Hiking Club earlier this month (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)

McKay was recently hiking with some friends at Algonquin Park and was discouraged after discovering a bunch of discarded water bottles. "We were sitting on the ridge and the idea just came to me and I put it into motion."

McKay created a Facebook group and invited members to the first 'clean sweep' at the North London athletic field on May 26th. About 25 people walked the trails carrying garbage bags. They also had a sharps kit.

"We went up and down the path and we filled about eight kitchen garbage bags and about four of the large black garbage bags," said McKay. They also found bicycle spokes and a cage.

"When we do longer hikes, we're going to have designated backpacks you could have with the garbage. I was always hoping that there wouldn't be so much garbage that enough people couldn't take it but I was proven wrong on this first walk."

"Everything starts small," said McKay who is hopeful the club will inspire others to clean up the city's parks and trails.

"Small ripples make big waves." 

 

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