The Stewards of the Cootes Watershed group are asking the City of Hamilton for $86 thousand to help carry out their shoreline cleanup and conservation activities. The $86 thousands represents less than a quarter of the funding needed to run two programs simultaneously, based on and estimate $110,000 in “sweat equity” of volunteers and $117K raised through grants and donations.

The community group focuses its efforts on one section at a time, sometimes returning more than 20 times to ensure a section has become pristine. After that, the group assigns stewards that dedicate 90 minutes every month to maintaining and monitoring the area.

The group’s activities include cleaning up garbage, unplugging debris to reduce flooding and identifying pollution problems at the source, and conducting community outreach to implement preventative measures.

Last year, the group contributed nearly 6,000 volunteer hours, filled 3,889 bags of garbage, removed 546 tires, 86,801 pounds of metal, and 194,827 pounds of debris.

The city will make their request before council today.

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