University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

Team Clean

U of T mountain bikers remove a tonne of trash from the Don Valley Trail

U of T’s varsity mountain biking squad does more than merely ride on trails – its members are also helping to keep Toronto’s trail network clean.

Every spring the team runs a Don Valley Trail Clean-Up as part of the City of Toronto’s Bike Week, bringing out volunteers from the university and from around the city – plus plenty of trash bags and rubber gloves for the job.

“I don’t know how the stuff gets down in there, but you find the weirdest things: shopping carts, tires, boots, refrigerators,” says Antonia Gawel, captain of last season’s squad. (They find plenty of less recognizable junk, too.)

About 40 trail cleaners showed up for the annual event last May. David Wright, one of the team’s founders, estimates they’ve hauled some 1,000 kilograms of trash from the Don’s forest floor since the activity started in 1997.

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