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Miles Goes the Extra Mile

Miles is a thoughtful person who cares deeply about the environment. It is this passion that led him to turn his morning walk into a meaningful way to care for the earth.

“Kathy and I were walking and talking and I said, ‘I have an idea to pick up garbage on Evergreen Street’,” he says. “It seemed like a good idea and it is important because you’re working with Mother Earth and I know it will help the community.”

Miles always makes sure he wears a safety vest so that he is visible while on the road

Miles participates in the Community Inclusion services offered through Communitas Supportive Care Society. Kathy Saunders manages the service and Julia Warkentin is one of Miles’ support workers. They both agree that Miles initiative has made an impact.

“It’s made a huge difference in the area as he has removed at least two grocery bags of trash every week,” Kathy says.

When COVID 19 suspended his day service activities, Miles decided he’d use his time to pick up litter, so he’s been at this weekly since the middle of March. Nothing seems to discourage him from his task, not even bad weather. He takes great pride in keeping his area trash-free and ensures he’s wearing appropriate protection so that he can be seen while on the road. He enjoys the waves and honks he receives from passers-by.

Seeing the enormous effort that Miles was putting into this project led Kathy to nominate Miles for a Habitat Protection Stewardship Award, handed out annually by the city of Campbell River. Of the different categories in the Stewardship Awards, the Habitat Protection category always receives the most nominations. When Miles was chosen as the recipient, he was very proud.

“It feels more than great,” he says. “I want to thank the Campbell River mayor and the city for giving me this award.”

Miles, with Kathy (left) and Julia

Those who work with him were thrilled when they received the news that he had won. Kathy, Julia, Miles’ mother, Ann, and his Home Share Provider, Mandy all attended the socially-distanced award ceremony to witness Miles receiving his plaque. They all feel that the recognition was well-deserved.

“I am very proud of Miles for winning this award in a very competitive category,” Julia says. “I am encouraged by the hard work that he puts in to keep his neighborhood clean.”

Miles with the other nominees, city officials, and the MC for the awards event. Everyone is very proud of Miles!

While Miles is grateful for the recognition, he receives the most satisfaction from doing the task of caring for the earth. He has a word of advice for anyone considering what they could do to be environmentally responsible.

“I would encourage other people to clean more of the environment, they will find it rewarding,” he says.

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