Shuswap River Cleanup

Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Annual Middle Shuswap River Cleanup & Paddle
Bring the Family

Calling all volunteers with canoes, kayaks, SUP's or other human powered craft!
Launch 2020
Help clean up part of the Middle Shuswap River. It's FREE, fun, and a great way to paddle this beautiful river with some wonderful people. Please register. (Participants receive a 10% discount on all 2021 and 2022 river canoeing courses by Elements Adventure Co.!)

This year’s clean-up takes place on the Lower / Upper Middle Shuswap River, beginning at the put-in near the Mabel Lake Community Hall / the meadows in Cherryville, downstream. Volunteers will clean up the put-in surroundings on foot, then paddle downstream.

Anyone with a human-powered watercraft is welcome to join in (prior river paddling experience is recommended; safety information will be provided). Charles will have canoes and safety equipment available for rent for those who reserve them in advance.

The event ends about 4:00pm at the pullout at Wilsey Dam / Procter's farm.

Registration is required for this event.
For this, or further information see the Elements Adventure Co. website, or call or text 250-308-8924.

2022 — The Lower Middle Shuswap River

On Saturday September 17th, Charles Ruechel, owner of Elements Adventures, led a couple of dozen canoeists, in their unmotorized small craft, down the Shuswap River to pick up trash. This was the event's 10th anniversary, and coincidentally there were 10 canoes, filled with participants ranging in age from 1 year old to some recent retirees whose age they didn't divulge!

The sun shone all day, making the trip specially enjoyable. Starting near the Mabel Lake Community Hall, paddlers pulled out at the end of their trip at the Procter farm not far upstream from Mabel Lake. When asked for permission to leave the shuttle vehicles on his land near the River, LeRoy Procter said, “Of course; imagine what the river banks would be like if all that garbage hadn’t been removed over those 10 years.”

Russ Collins once again volunteered to sort the trash and take it all to the dump. Participants were delighted to say that they found fewer beverage cans, and less trash this year than in the past. 

Many people take advantage of this spectacular water course, and the stresses placed on it are therefore great and varied. This event is a satisfying effort to relieve the burden of human created garbage

2021 — The Upper Middle Shuswap River

About 20 paddlers ...

2020 — The Lower Middle Shuswap River


The haul


2019 — The Upper Middle Shuswap River

The crew, 2019

Takeoff, 2019

End of day, 2019

Pickup full, 2019

2018 — The Lower Middle Shuswap River

Charles prep

2018’s clean-up took place on the Lower Middle Shuswap River, beginning at the put-in below Wilsey dam near the Mabel Lake Community Hall, downstream toward Mabel Lake.

2017 — The Upper Middle Shuswap River

2017 Wrap-up

On Saturday, October 7 Charles Ruechel of Elements Adventure again lead his yearly cleanup paddle of the Shuswap River between The Meadows campground in Cherryville and Wilsey Dam. Six canoes with 13 occupants (including 2 children) paddled the river while picking up trash, arriving end of day at the BC Hydro Recreation Park on Mabel Lake Rd just past the bridge.

Discarded tubes, wooden tables, plastics of all sorts, cigarette butts and much more, a truckload more in fact, were retrieved. It took the paddlers from about 10 AM till 5 PM in sunshine and in rain, the river being very low, and being delayed somewhat by the good soul in Cherryville who offered paddlers pumpkin pie during their travel!

“What was different this year” said Charles Ruechel “is that we partnered with the Mabel Lake Community Club who did promotion for us and set up some hot food and drinks for us at the end of the day and even took it upon themselves to dispose of the garbage!” 

Rita Romei, the president of the Mabel Lake Club said that this event fitted right in with the new mandate of the board which is to become more relevant as stewards of the Mabel Lake Valley rather than solely a social club. “More and more people realize the important role the Shuswap River plays in this community and feel we need to be proactive in protecting it” said Romei.

Some property owners such as Eveline Wolterson and Ken Jeannotte walked along the shore to pick up garbage. “We're hoping that this is only the first of an annual event in the Mabel Lake Valley that engages not only property owners but all who use this river to take part in the cleanup” said Huguette Allen, a board member.

Among the paddlers were people from Vernon, Kelowna and Enderby. Prizes were awarded to the youngest paddlers, Xenia Ruechel and Satori Tam. When asked whether she had been afraid when going down some rapids, she said “No, I was just tooooooo excited!”

Prizes were also awarded for various feats during the day, including the most epic retrieval that went to Lorna Church and Emilia Hladych.

   Satori and Xenia (& Leo) - 2017          the trash in Ken Jeannotte's pickup - 2017

organizers - 2017

Led by Elements Adventure Co.  & Hosted by the Mabel Lake Community Club