Lethbridge residents follow the ‘Yellow Fish Road’ to clean waters

A yellow fish is painted on a Lethbridge city street to promote awareness about urban runoff pollution. Sarolta Saskiw, Global News

LETHBRIDGE – Lethbridge city streets are getting a bright boost, as part of Environment Week.

From May 31 to June 6, the city of Lethbridge is focusing on ways to take care of the planet.

Yellow Fish Road is a free storm drain painting program that promotes awareness about urban runoff pollution.

The aquatic creatures serve as a visual reminder that storm drains aren’t connected to the waste water treatment plant, which means what goes down, comes back up in the Oldman River.

“Anything other than rain water should not be going there,” said Stephanie Vehnon, an environmental program assistant with the city.

Painting kits are being loaned to southern Albertans who want to create some meaningful public art this spring and summer.

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“We really want to just try and conserve our water and sustain it for the future,” said Vehnon.

The program is in its ninth year and is just one of the eco-friendly initiatives the city is promoting this week.

Shoreline litter is a widespread pollution problem, but on Thursday volunteers can help keep water clean.

The Shoreline Cleanup takes place in Indian Battle Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The focus is on the east shore of the Oldman River, from Whoop-Up Drive to the High Level Bridge, because that’s the busiest public beach in Lethbridge.

Last year, pieces of small glass, cigarette butts, appliances, construction debris, plastic and food wrappers were all removed from the shoreline.

“Water is life. We need to remember that we all have a part in preserving water quality for the benefit of all of life on earth,” said Curtis Goodman, resource development coordinator with Helen Schuler Nature Centre.

Interested participants are asked to wear sturdy, close-toed shoes and a hat. A quick orientation will take place at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre before supplies are handed out and the cleanup begins.

For more information on initiatives taking place in Lethbridge and across the country, visit the city’s website.

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With files from Sarolta Saskiw, Global News.

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