At 10 am on Saturday morning, 3 March 2018, around 50 Members of St Margaret's College assembled on the banks of the Water of Leith for a safety briefing before being split up into five groups to begin a clean-up of the river and its banks.
The "Love the Leith" project was originally scheduled to occur during Orientation Week but had to be postponed due to the side effects of Cyclone Gita on Dunedin's weather in mid-February. Saturday, however, was perfect for the exercise - wind-free, dry and pleasantly warm.
The project was the initiative of the President of the Rotary Club of Dunedin South, Michael Van Aart. As a large number of people were needed for the project to succeed, the Master of St Margaret's College volunteered the services of College Members as part of the College's regular community service efforts.
In collaboration with the Otago Regional Council, Rotary volunteers and College Members cleaned up the river and its banks for a couple of hours on Saturday morning, working in a northerly direction from the University's Clocktower towards the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
As Mr Van Aart said, if each Member picked up just 10 bits of rubbish , a substantial amount of rubbish would be removed. As it turned out, much more rubbish was collected during the morning's work including a sofa, an armchair, glass, tins, cushions, plastic, pieces of metal, wooden pallets, paper, cardboard, clothing, etc.
The Leith is a wonderful feature of the Dunedin and the University. The College felt very privileged to assist in its clean-up, as can be seen by the accompanying photos.
ORC has also produced a beautiful short video (approximately two minutes) about the Leith entitled "A love letter from the Leith". It can be viewed on Youtube by clicking here. It's well worth looking at.
(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)
Posted: Tuesday March 6, 2018