There is no better way to understand the joy and sense of accomplishment you feel from a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup than to experience it firsthand, but how can you share this feeling with others? Site Coordinator Jana Sneep, of Edmonton Alberta, has been creating inspirational videos over the years documenting her cleanup experience. She shares her creative process with us, and lets us in on how she’s able to capture the amazing feeling that comes with organizing cleanups.

Tell us about the shoreline you clean. What is your connection to it?

I enjoy walking around Beaumaris Lake in my community, it has history, it’s the oldest man-made lake in Edmonton. During my walks I was quick to notice all the trash; papers, straws, coffee cups and more. In 2012 I led my first cleanup, and being the ambitious volunteer, I looked for donations from local grocery stores and restaurants (sometimes you just need to ask!). The city even loaned us garbage supplies, including grabbers to get the harder to reach items.

Beaumaris Lake is home to many wildlife who are now safer thanks to her volunteers who return to clean each year.

We love the videos you have created. What inspired you to document your cleanups through art?

Being a photographer, I’d take a lot of photos during cleanups and wanted to share these in a creative way. I decided to turn them into fun and memorable videos that clearly showed the impact we had. For the audio, I’d search for an upbeat song to complement all our hard work and then share the final videos with my participants when inviting them to join us again next year.

In 2015 I was really excited to share an original song by my daughter-in-law, Amber Bauer, called “Make it Count”. Since we count the pieces of trash collected, it worked out really well! You can watch that cleanup video here. I was also really honoured to win Nature Alberta’s video contest for the People in Action’ category with my 2018 video.

The most unusual item found at their Jana’s 2018 cleanup was a baseball bat, happily claimed by one of the younger volunteers.

What is your top tip for getting people to participate in cleanups?

Invite the people who live in the area or near the shoreline. We focus on a group of committed people that live in Village Beaumaris, right on the lake. You also don’t need to lead a cleanup all by yourself. I have a great co-captain, Barb, and we encourage each other to get out there and keep our lake beautiful, something we see whenever we walk the lake afterwards.

Thank you Jana for adding a creative flair to your cleanups, it’s always a joy to receive a link to your latest cleanup recap! We love to see the creativity of volunteers through cleanup photos, videos, art using litter and other fascinating ways of documenting their cleanup experience.

What will leading or joining a shoreline cleanup inspire in you this year? Take action like Jana and find out, learn how here: www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation partnership by Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is Canada’s largest volunteer-powered, conservation cleanup program. The Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. Find out more at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

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