Air Cadets remediate Belmont Park environment


Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

Armed with gloves and garbage bags a team of air cadets completed a cleanup of Belmont Park military housing community on Oct. 4.

On a bright, sunny fall morning they took to the streets and tree lines of the West Shore neighbourhood for more than three hours, recovering approximately 25 garbage bags of trash. The team of 17 cadets and four adult staff members were from Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron 848. 

The majority of recovered items consisted of used medical masks, snack wrappers, plastic grocery bags and cigarette butts. Other items collected included a couch, broken toys and a children’s pool. By day’s end they had filled the back of a flatbed trailer with bagged refuse. The garbage was hauled away by Rolling Tides Construction Inc., who volunteered to dispose of the garbage for the cadets.

Lt(N) Courtney Looye, Commanding Officer 848 Sqn. says some residents stopped by to thank the cadets for their efforts while others pointed out where more garbage could be located. In the end she declared their mission a success. Lt(N) Looye was highly impressed by the cadets’ willingness to help and said many of them had gained a true sense of accomplishment by taking part in the cleanup. 

“How can you feel anything but pride seeing youth, ages 12 to 18, walking through a community picking up garbage?” she asked. “This was a great opportunity for the cadets to get some exercise and fresh air and make their community a better place.”

The cadets were required to wear masks along with a thorough washing of their hands after the event.

The cleanup was one of the cadets many projects aimed at promoting community service. The squadron’s last community activity occurred in 2019, prior to COVID-19 restrictions, when they collected litter from Esquimalt Lagoon beach.

The cadets are headquartered at the Colwood Pacific Activity Centre and recently returned to in-person activities. Upcoming events for the squadron include New Recruit Training Day, Leadership Training Day, Poppy Campaign support, Remembrance Day Parade and a Field Training Exercise where they will learn outdoor survival skills.

For more information on the 848 Sqn or how to get involved visit their website


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