Let the Games begin

All eyes will be on East London tonight when the world tunes in to watch the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

With the Torch at its final stop outside the Olympic Stadium, its journey along the Thames signalling the end of the long wait and years of preparations.

As Londoners will attest, the capital has undergone rapid transformations in time for the big event, and it’s waterways have too benefited from this attention. Thousands of volunteers have cheerfully got stuck in with us to improve the waterways of the Olympic Host Boroughs, beginning in the dark cold days of February. Now with summer finally upon us, the waterways which characterise the area and intersect the Olympic Park will have their moment in the spotlight.

The campaign has sought to connect people to their local rivers and canals to produce a lasting legacy for Londoners beyond the 2012 Games. The project was granted the 2012 Inspire Mark, which recognises exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to all the volunteers and campaign partners whose hard work and effort  has ensured that these valuable spaces that frame and intersect the Olympic venues are seen as places that Londoner’s love, respect and enjoy.

Don’t worry, it’s not all over yet. BWCU2012 will continue between the Olympic and Paralympic Games and until the end of this year. Thames21 will endeavour to work with local communities to ensure that the hard work already undertaken to transform these valuable spaces continues long into the future to create a lasting legacy. So stay posted for details of upcoming events or contact Ben Fenton to find out how you can get involved after the Games to make sure that the environment and Londoners continue to benefit from this historic event.

Some of the highlights so far:

The Olympic Torch – carried by campaign coordinator Ben Fenton. The first stage of our innovative and varied campaign came to an end with a bang, with campaign Coordinator Ben Fenton proudly running with the Olympic Torch in Brixton.





The canoe clean-up
BWCU2012 took the canoe and used for a good with a series of guided canoe-based clean ups on East London’s canals. Volunteers jumped at the chance to enjoy the tranquillity of  a canoe trip, while helping to keep our waterways clean by getting those hard to reach spots.



Rubbish Duck
Two of BWCU’s most reliable volunteers were Central Saint Martin students, Essie Salonen and Ferdinand Povel, who collected over 2000 plastic bottles from our events to create a giant ‘Rubbish Duck’ sculpture. Upon completion the ‘Rubbish Duck’ sculpture was moored in Regents Canal at Kings X, with plans to be displayed at the newly opened London Pleasure Gardens. The creators wanted to draw attention to the amount of plastic waste in our waterways and the detrimental effect that this has on our environment.

Wildflower Meadows
BWCU2012 volunteers have planted 12 wildlife-friendly Wildflower meadows in East London in collaboration with LOCOG’s Mad About Meadows project, which are now happily in bloom.