Nils Nelson is tireless in his efforts to help keep Port Hardy clean. The 82-year-old can often be seen picking up litter around town.

Nils Nelson is tireless in his efforts to help keep Port Hardy clean. The 82-year-old can often be seen picking up litter around town.

Takin’ in the trash

Have you ever noticed how much garbage is laying on the streets?

Desiree Conway

For the Gazette

Have you ever noticed how much garbage is laying on the streets?

Nils Nelson is one of many in Port Hardy who voluntarily picks up litter and trash others leave behind.

Nelson has been a resident of Port Hardy off and on since 1941 and said he’s been picking up garbage in the community for two years.

“ Ijust want to walk and not see any garbage,” the 82-year-old told the Gazette.

He starts his walk —with a recyclable shopping bag and a garbage gripper — from the post office, travels along Carrot Park and the beach and then up Main Street to home.

Nelson said he does it because he truly cares about his town and how it looks to residents and tourists.

“I don’t do it for anyone or anything, I do it because I care about Port Hardy and the fact that there is garbage covering the ground and ruining the beautiful scenery,” he said.

The octogenarian only has one good eye and he smiled when he added: “I do it for depth perception practice too.”

Nelson is one of several concerned citizens who pick up trash daily to help keep the North Island clean, but soon everyone can help.

April 29 is Pitch-in Community Clean-up Day and B.B.Q. in Port Hardy. The cleanup is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Harvest Food Bank to pick up supplies and to register for prizes, which will be awarded during a barbecue at 3 p.m. in Carrot Park.

For more information please contact Patti Smedley at the District of Port Hardy at 250-949-6665.