Once upon a time
It’s one of those beautiful sunny days. You are working on your tan by the water when you suddenly see a great patch of garbage float by. It’s not a pretty sight, not the idyllic place you had in mind, in fact it doesn’t make you proud of your city. It was more than we could take, so we bought a kayak to rid the canal of these abominations. But it soon became clear that our efforts were in vain, there was simply far too much garbage. We thus quickly decided to focus on raising awareness by taking along a new person every time we went fishing for plastic. And that’s how Canal it up was born. Meanwhile, the team has grown and decided to tackle other problems as well in view of upgrading the canal. We want to be proud of our city and we want a clean canal teeming with life, a place where you would go for a nice stroll.
The Canal It Up team consists of two permanent employees, Pieter and Maïa.
Pieter is the one who bought a second-hand kayak in 2019 to clean up the canal. He has a background in civil engineering, always asks himself and the team pertinent questions and thinks very solution-oriented.
Maïa is an enthusiastic and young bioengineer passionate about water and rainwater management in the city. She has been working part-time for Canal It Up since October 2022 and also works part-time for the V.U.B. as a scientific collaborator for the Brusseau Bis project and rainwater management on the university campus itself.
But Canal It Up would not exist without the amazing group of volunteers who guide the canal trips and contribute to many of the projects. It is thanks to their dedication that Canal It Up can continue working towards clean and green waterways. Here you can see some of the volunteers; we have never managed to get the whole group in one photo :).
And fortunately, we can often count on interns who come to gain experience in the workings of an environmental organization and support us in the meantime with their very valuable skills. Among them were Clémence from Belgium, Florian also from Belgium, Gabriela from Mexico, and Alicja from Poland-Luxembourg.