A young girl in the Valley came up with a way to celebrate her birthday while mobilizing her friends and family to be environmentally conscious.
On May 17, Kamryn Ward turned nine years old. She told her parents she wanted to have her party in the form of a beach cleanup at Black Rock Beach at Canada Creek, Kings County. She invited 25 family and friends to the beach, where her family’s cottage is located, to pick up garbage.
“She wanted to do a shore cleanup with her friends,” Kamryn’s father, Anthony Ward, said in an interview.
The family lives in Coldbrook, but has a cottage in Canada Creek, he added.
“It's a nice little beach, and we saw some garbage there recently. She decided it was a good idea that we gather up some other kids and get a big job done. She has learned from her family to appreciate nature, and we couldn't be happier. We are proud of her.”
The young activist is eager to speak up for the environment.
“It’s been my dream to help the environment since I was a little girl,” Kamryn said in an interview.
And keeping the oceans clean is her main priority.
“I realized that there are millions of tons of plastic ending up in our oceans every year,” Kamryn said.
“If you could, please take your garbage home with you when you go to the beach. Maybe take a bag with you and clean up your garbage.”
She even had a message for the Prime Minister.
“Justin Trudeau said to ban single-use plastics by 2021. I think we should ban it now, because if we don't do it soon enough, our pollution will get worse.”
Kamryn’s mom, Rae-Anne Ward, remembers Kamryn and her friends picking up litter around the school playground in Grade Primary.
“I’m super proud of her and all of her friends. This next generation is so environmentally-minded, and I think they are really going to save us,” she said.
Kamryn even reminds her mom to turn off the water while brushing her teeth.
“She has always been so environmentally-minded. It’s not that I’m not, but she encourages me on a daily basis. And I find that a lot of her friends are the same way.”
The environmental activism of Kamryn and her friends also inspired members of the community to action.
Joan Butt and her husband Doug live in North Berwick. In an interview, the couple said they were inspired to action after reading about the upcoming beach cleanup on social media. The same day, they went to a different area of the same beach, where their own cottage is located, and picked up two bags of garbage. Then, they went to meet Kamryn and her family and added their two bags to the Ward’s four bags.
“We participated because we thought it was a really nice gesture by this little nine-year-old girl. She didn’t want presents. She just wanted people to help clean up the beach. I thought, ‘What a great thing for a little person to do’,” Joan Butt said in an interview.
Kamryn and her friends are planning more events to impact the environment in a positive way. They will hold a fundraiser this summer for their new project called Help Save Animals. The money raised will go to the SPCA.
More information is available by calling 902-680-2559.