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Spring Mill Distillery cleans up its new backyard (4 photos)

John Sleeman joined staff, volunteers and other family members in helping clean up the Speed River behind Spring Mill Distillery on Monday morning

The Sleeman family was getting down and dirty Monday morning, pulling on hip waders and gloves

John Sleeman, his wife Julie and son Cooper were all part of a crew that spent the morning cleaning up the section of the Speed River that runs behind the family's new Spring Mill Distillery on Arthur Street. 

"This is an event put on by Trout Unlimited Canada to clean up the Speed River because we've noticed a lot of debris and garbage in there," said Cooper.

"The intention is to clean up as much of the garbage as we can and clean up some of the fallen wood debris as well.

"Spring Mill Distillery and Fusion Homes are in support of that and we just took the morning off today and jumped in there and take as much stuff out of there as we can."

All available Sping Mill staff was there, roughly 13 of them, plus a couple of volunteers from Trout Unlimited and Fusion Homes, who also provided a bin to put the debris into.

In the first 90 minutes the crew had collected close to 30 big black garbage bags of garbage, plus a bunch of large debris that wouldn't fit in bags.

Items hauled out of the river ranged from railway ties and bicycles to laptops and a phone.

"Lots and lots and lots of plastic bags," Sleeman said.

"This is our backyard. But it's not just our backyard, the river runs right through Guelph and it's important that we keep our waterways clean and we thought we'd take the morning, roll up our sleeves and jump right in there."

The crew careful not to remove any living plants or trees or anything providing habitat for river creatures.

"This side of the river was derelict for years. This was abandoned property. Now with the condo here (Metalworks) and us, this side of the river is all part of the view so we want to improve the area."

"It's a good opportunity for bonding too," Sleeman said.


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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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