FALL RIVER: Instead of sitting at home being bored and so they had structure during the COVID19 shutdown, two Fall River brothers put the free time they had to much good use. And as it turns out, the community is very appreciative of them doing so.
Tim and Tony Hart—aka “The Ditch Divers”—took it upon themselves to clean the ditches along streets in their home neighbourhood of Fall River Village. They would post on their Instagram page (search The Ditch Divers or click on their name) and on Facebook about their daily cleanups and how many bags they snagged.
“When the State of Emergency was announced and I was laid off work, and then Tony came home after his Navy course was cancelled because of COVID19,” said Tim. “We went for a walk, saw there was some garbage and we said we had the time to pick it up, so we went and got after it.”
The two have now worked their way to Fall River Road and have been picking up the garbage along the route there. They have inspired others to help them out, those people sometimes either cleaned their own area or like Cathy Deagle-Gammon and husband Percy joined them for a morning of litter pickup recently.
Tim said they spend 2-3 hours a day cleaning the ditches, when it’s nice out.
He said the name came about from there being garbage in ditches and Tony being a Diver in the Canadian Navy.
“That’s how The Ditch Divers were born,” said Tim.
As of our interview, the two estimated they had collected 71 bags (72 litre clear size) from Fall River Village and Fall River Road.
The two had a lot of thanks from people in the community, including funding support from Councillor Steve Streatch.
The Hart’s said the thing that is most valuable to them is the complements from their fellow residents in the community they call home and are proud of.
“We’re picking up garbage, but we’re collecting complements every day,” said Tim. “That’s the type of gratitude we like. It gives us a little motivation to get out each day.”
He said they see a lot of plastic doggie poo bags; liquor bottles; beer cans; and more.
“There’s not too many highlights to picking up the garbage,” said Tony. “It’s actually a low light to see the repeat finds of the Timmy’s cups, etc.
“The highlights have to be the honks we get from passing motorists.”
The sibling’s efforts earned them recognition from The Vegetorium who has a Grateful Hearts Hero initiative where members of the community can nominate Community Superheroes. The Harts were nominated for their efforts. They spoke about what it meant to receive the honour.
Tim said he would love to have regular cleanups of the community assigned to a community group; he is looking into how to make that happen in Fall River area.
The two had a message for residents on how they can help keep their community clean.
“Take some pride in the 10-15 metres left and right of your driveway, don’t litter; save your McDonald’s or Tim’s cup for the trash at home not the ditches, take the dog poo bags home,” said Tim. “Take pride in your community.
“Tony and I can clean ditches everyday all day long, but unless we have some commitment from other people, we’re almost spinning tired because we see garbage built up in areas we’ve already cleaned.
“It’s kind of disheartening.”