Workers pull half-ton of trash from gorge
Training exercise for Parks Police, NPC crews
A half-ton of garbage was hauled out of the Niagara Gorge earlier this week by about 10 people and a helicopter.
The Niagara Parks Police highangle river team and Niagara Parks Commission workers used the day as a training exercise, retrieving bags of garbage collected by volunteers.
Early Wednesday, they were flown into the Niagara Glen by Niagara Helicopters to the area just below the Whirlpool Aero Car, known as Colt’s Point.
They collected the accumulated trash bags, and cleaned bushes nearby where previous cleanup crews had placed garbage bags that were later scrounged through by animals.
The bags containing 1,000 pounds of garbage were loaded into a cargo net and lifted to the surface by helicopter, then taken to a field near Victoria Avenue to be sorted and disposed of.
It ended the work started a few weeks ago by Kip Finn and others.
Finn, a candidate for mayor in Niagara Falls, plus city council candidate Angela Peebles and another woman named Wendy Cote, spent a couple of days collecting trash from the water.
“We probably had about nine bags altogether,” said Finn, adding he organized the recovery after being disgusted by Facebook photos that showed the floating mess.
“A lot of bottles, there were two bags that were jammed full of plastic bottles … some bags were pretty heavy, around the 70pound mark.
“That’s why I wanted the Parks to help out, I didn’t want people trying to carry these things out. Where they were positioned … there’s a ledge you’ve got to walk across and you have maybe a foot and a half with the whirlpool on one side of you and a slope on the other.”
The NPC and parks police crews not only brought up the bags that had been set aside, they also cleaned out the bushes around there. Finn said his group didn’t want to root around and inadvertently find discarded needles or syringes.
He said they were “very surprised” that none were found. He said he knows of another volunteer group that cleans the waterfront further downriver but Colt’s Point is harder to reach and often is ignored.
“I’ll take any opportunity to go there,” he said.
“Any excuse to go down, I’ll go. I’ll probably go down there Sunday or Monday … I never go down without a bag.”
Workers hauled 1,000 pounds of accumulated garbage from the Niagara Gorge near the Whirlpool Aero Car earlier this week.