Ryelle Whitford wants to clean up the whole world, but she’s starting with the Frame Lake shore.
“We’re starting with the lakes,” said Whitford. “To the rivers, to the oceans.”
This passionate intuitive started when Whitford and her grandma went to City Hall for lunch, it was there that they got a peek at the water and saw a collection of disgusting debris.
“We saw plastic,” said Whitford. “Signs, chairs, even a dress, and a bunch of toys. I’m like, “We got to stop this.”
To help reach her goal of a cleaner world, Whitford started a petition, beginning with friends and family before expanding out into her neighbourhood.
She knew that wasn’t enough though, and went even further to get the message out.
“So I had a meeting with the mayor,” said Whitford. “We’re starting it on August 12 at 4:30 p.m.”
Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty was excited for what Whitford, and youth in general, had to offer.
“I find the youth are so passionate about the environment,” said Alty “So, when she [Whitford] came forward and expressed her concerns and talked about action, I wanted to be able to support her to show her that when you have an issue and you want to see it through, it’s possible.”
At the time of writing, Whitford has 13 signatures on her petition, but according to the Facebook event listening for the clean-up, a total of 31 people are interested.
On top of a cleaner world, Whitford also wants to protect the turtles.
“You know how turtles have been finding plastic,” said Whitford. “But they’re thinking it’s food. When they try to eat it, they’re like choking. A bunch of them are getting lost in the world.”
Whitford can’t wait to get started with the clean-up and already has ideas for where to go after she’s finished with Frame Lake.
“I think we would go to Yellowknife River,” said Whitford. “It’s a long river, with a bunch of things. There’s a bunch of metal on the floor, but I’ve seen more things in that river.”