Canal it up is the new initiative focusing on a clean, plastic-free canal in Brussels where nature has its place. During the #StaycationBXL summer, interested individuals can see Brussels from the kayak. We spoke with Pieter Elsen to learn more about this innovative urban project.
What is the project about?
With ‘Canal it up’ we try to upgrade the canal of Brussels which suffers from trash, bad water quality and a lack of nature and biodiversity. We aim to install floating islands filled with plants and a structure to stop and evacuate all the trash. We are currently working on the installation of a permanent structure, to be placed close to the Molenbeek lock, to stop the trash and take it out of the water. We want to give nature its place back in the canal to transform it into a green and pleasant environment for people and animals through the installation of vegetalised islands. At the same time, tackling the problem of the sewage overflows would allow to drastically improve the water quality of the canal. We are exploring creative solutions to recycle the trash collected in the canal.
Many people are not aware of this problem. What can you do to change that?
To make people aware of the problem we have started a sensibilisation campaign. We go kayakking on the canal near the center of Brussels to go and fish for trash with new volunteers every week. From the water you can see the city from a completely different angle and you can also take some beautiful photos of Brussels.
We have a fleet of two two-person kayaks. Our base is next to the museum Kanal Centre Pompidou and we navigate between the Porte de Ninove and the Square Jules De Trooz passing by Dansaert. If one has a little bit more time, going to Van Praet and the Yacht club is possible as well.
Brussels staycation activity? How to join and where to get more info?
Fishing for plastic in the canal of Brussels has always been your dream? Or simply looking for a nice summer activity? The trash picking makes it almost a treasure hunt. With the help of the VGC, trips are possible from Monday to Sunday during summer, in the framework of StaycationBXL program. Get in touch with us via our website or follow our Facebook page to see the latest news 🙂