Heart attack survivors form new Winnipeg clean-up group

What started out as a roundtable conversation at the Reh-Fit Centre among heart attack survivors turned into a club that’s aiming to make Winnipeg litter-free.

Tom Ethans, the executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg, has created the Winnipeg ‘Plalking Club’.

City dirtier than last year, says Take Pride Winnipeg

“We talked about the fact that a great way to exercise is getting outside, and why not add a little picking up litter, which will give us more calories that we burn off,” Ethans said.

Ethans’ friend and fellow heart attack survivor Mel joined the club at the first event of spring, held on Saturday afternoon.

WATCH: A group of heart attack survivors hit the streets today, to fill dozens of garbage bags with litter. Global’s Marek Tkach reports.

“We see all the other people here and what the place is looking like now that we’ve gone through it,” he said. “It makes all the difference in the world.”

The club began the season by cleaning up the area beside the intersection of Empress Street and Ellice Avenue.

Northwest Winnipeg ranked city’s dirtiest neighbourhood

Ethans says over 30 bags of garbage were collected for every block of the area.

“We do a litter index,” Ethans explained. “‘One’ being no litter a ‘four’ being a lot of litter. And this is a tonne of litter here.”

After creating the club, Ethans quickly received calls from people around the city, wondering how to get involved.

“I like walking and I hate all this garbage, so I figured why not come out on a beautiful day and have some fun?” said Judy Albiani, one of over 20 volunteers who came out for the Plalking Club’s first event.

“I live around here and it’s disgusting. I don’t even want to walk around the area because it’s so bad around here,” Catherine McIntyre explained.

The group plans to meet every Saturday at a different location to continue cleaning up.

Those interested in helping out are asked to call Tom Ethans at 204-792-5464 or visit Take Pride Winnipeg’s website.

WATCH: Team Up, Clean Up: Take Pride Winnipeg’s Spring Campaign

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