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News article created on 17 March 2015

Sikh community celebrates New Year on the canal

We're working with members of the Sikh community in Birmingham and Smethwick to ‘green up’ a stretch of the Birmingham Main Line Canal as part of the celebrations for Sikh Environmental Day.

The day sees Sikhs around the world take a pledge to protect their local environment and on Saturday (14 March) 20 people from the community spent a day improving their local canal. The volunteers spent the day planting 60 trees and shrubs along the Galton Valley Nature Trail to help create a waterside community garden and celebrate the Sikh New Year.

Effort and enthusiasm

Steve Lambert, Canal & River Trust volunteer leader, said: “We had a fantastic day out on the canal and I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone for their effort and enthusiasm to plant as many trees as possible. The Environmental Day is a really special time for the Sikh community and I’m delighted that they chose to support the canal and help give another boost to this once unloved stretch, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Amrick Singh, Vice Chair of Council of Sikh Gurudwaras (Birmingham), Director of the Nishkam Centre and a Sikh volunteer, said: “Environment Day allows us to carry out tasks to protect Mother Nature and raise awareness of our local environment so our local canal was a perfect spot to carry out our green activities. In our daily prayers we call on everyone to love and respect our planet and to show love to Mother Earth.

“Planting all these shrubs has enabled us to play a small part in creating a clean environment for us to live in whilst also making it a much nicer place to visit for everyone living near the canal - every day should be a Sikh environment day.”