Coquitlam looking for snow angels

Program seeks volunteers to help clean sidewalks for those that can't

With the mercury hovering around the freezing mark in recent mornings, Coquitlam is calling on its residents to consider being a snow angel this winter.

The city has begun its annual recruitment of volunteers willing to shovel snow for residents who are physically unable to clear their sidewalks within the 10-hour timeframe following a snowfall that Coquitlam requires its residents to do so.

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The city is looking for volunteers, particularly in the Como Lake area, who are at least 16 years old and capable of shovelling snow. They will be matched with recipients as close to their home as possible. “Demand for the service usually outstrips the supply of volunteers,” said a city news release.

In addition to the benefit of getting exercise, helping others and keeping the city safe, volunteers receive a “stylish branded scarf and toque, a shovel and a reflective vest.”

Snow angels are only required to clear city sidewalks — not private walkways and driveways — from one or two assigned homes within the 10 hours bylaw requirement. 

Any Coquitlam resident age 16 and up can sign up. Volunteers are needed throughout Coquitlam – but particularly in the Como Lake area – and are matched to recipients as close to their home as possible. The volunteers must complete an application process which includes an orientation session and shovelling training. There are also reference and criminal record checks.

The service is available to Coquitlam seniors (65 and older) and residents with a physical disability, and are unable to clear snow adjacent to their homes.

Details about the program and on how to volunteer or become a recipient are available online at coquitlam.ca/snowangels or by phoning 604-927-6909.

Port Coquitlam no longer runs its snow angels program, but is asking residents when they’re doing their own walks to take the initiative to see if any neighbour needs help. The city also suggested residents who get ongoing help from a neighbour can nominate them for the Good Neighbour recognition program which is acknowledged at the city’s annual volunteer awards night.

PoCo requires public sidewalks next to residential and commercial properties to be cleared as soon as possible after a snowfall with fines of $50 to $2,000 for those that don’t.

Port Moody doesn’t have a snow angels program either, but its staff ls looking into the possibility of initiating a similar volunteer program as part of its winter road maintenance service improvement strategy, said spokesperson Rosemary Lodge in an email to The Tri-City News.

She also said PoMo is encouraging residents to help out each other during snow events via its social media messaging as well as shovelling their sidewalk.

newsroom@tricitynews.com

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