Piles of debris are scooped up by the volunteers on a section of beach on Okanagan Lake Wednesday. Workers included staff members from Cascade Casino. Mark Brett/Western News

Video: Clean up of Okanagan beach begins

About 50 volunteers joined with City of Penticton crews to focus their efforts on Marina Way beach

As the official beginning of summer kicked off today, the community rallied to start on the clean up of Okanagan Beach in Penticton.

Ryan Griffith previously lived just two blocks from Okanagan Beach and as a frequent user, he felt it was only appropriate he give back some time to help on Wednesday morning.

“Look at it our here. We have got such a pristine area,” said Griffith. “Storms come through, and yeah they are going to do some damage but we can get together all of us here in the community and get this beach cleaned up so we can enjoy the summer here coming up.”

About 50 volunteers joined with City of Penticton crews to focus their efforts on Marina Way beach and the dog beach.

“I think there is a lot of Penticton pride and people take pride in this community and want to see it look nice. We have a really beautiful community and I think people appreciate that and I think it shows here with the people coming down early that they want to make sure it looks good,” said Griffith.

To date, the city has left much of the debris along the lakeshore to help prevent erosion. With no recent increases in water levels, crews were able to clean Peach Beach and the area in front of the SS Sicamous. Much of the effort on Wednesday was for the smaller debris that needed manual labour to deal with it.

“I live here and I just love it and we come to the beach all the time,” said Delanna Butler, of why she decided to pitch in.

“We need the tourists to come back and have a place to come to in the summertime. With it being like this no one wants to be here.”

Butler, who works at Cascades Casino, said giving back to the community is also something the company she works for supports. Cascades is hosting a Back to the Beach barbecue on June 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. on the rooftop of the Match Eatery & Public House.

Related: Back to the Beach appreciation barbecue

The City of Penticton is also grateful for the community support.

“We had a great turnout for our beach cleanup today and I would like to say thank you to everyone who came out today,” said City of Penticton communications manager Mark Parker.


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