The Clean and Green Hamilton Strategy was largely supported by volunteers and saw education and community programs expand in 2022
As part of its annual progress update, the Environmental Services Public Works Department released a summary on the action and accomplishments of its Clean and Green Hamilton Strategy in 2022. The Clean and Green Hamilton Strategy endeavours to keep Hamilton and its public spaces clean through clean-up initiatives as well as raising awareness through awareness events. The program focuses on five different pillars: Litter, Illegal Dumping, Graffiti, Beautification, and Environmental Stewardship.
The Clean and Green Hamilton Strategy relies on volunteer engagement. Litter Remediation Programs drew 4041 volunteers who came together for a combined 12017 hours worked. Such remediation programs include Team Up to Clean Up, Adopt a Park, Beautiful Alleys, and The Escarpment Project. This volunteer turnout is a marked increase from the last two years. During their efforts, the volunteer workforce—valued at nearly $306 000, collected 8760 bags of waste.
Approximately 300 of these volunteers worked on the Adopt a Park initiative under the Beautification pillar. They provided maintenance to sixty-five Hamilton municipality parks, collecting litter, removing bulk items, picking up yard waste, and planting trees. Adopt A Park also maintained forty-one pollinator gardens and installed art and murals in several public spaces across the city.
Volunteers also greatly contributed to the Hamilton Trillium Awards Program. 2022 saw seventy-four additional volunteers be trained for assessment, before travelling to score the 733 Trillium nominated gardens around Hamilton.
2022’s Beautification pillar saw further success with increased turnout at community garden shows. The Spring Tide Bulb Show was held on March 11 for the first time since 2019. Themed ‘Spring on The Farm’ and featuring homestead creations by The City’s Horticulture Section, the event drew nearly 18 000, an increase of 6000 from its last event. Visitors donated $11 933 and 9778 pounds of food for the Hamilton Food Share. Every dollar raised $5 worth of food, generating $59 667.
The Fall and Garden Mum Show brought in a near identical crowd to 2021—just over 12 000—from October 14 to 23. The City Horticulture Section created displays, this time celebrating space exploration with displays of the Shuttle Atlantis, and a moon rover among others.
The Clean and Green Hamilton Strategy also saw growth regarding its fifth pillar: Environmental Stewardship.
During the pandemic the Waste Virtual Classroom was created. Tailored to students grades one through five, but being able to accommodate up to eighth graders, the classroom offers 165 programs and saw north of 3700 attendees over the course of 2022.
This success has ensured that it will continue through 2023. However, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in 2022 also allowed for the resumption of student presentations at the Central Composting Facility, an event that was “well received” by teachers who were “excited about taking students on this field trip.”
Additionally, Community Outreach staff attended three community events and held nine community presentations, reaching approximately 1000 people combined.
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