Mayor tasks town to tackle tidiness on trails and in parks

A stroll through a recently revamped green space like Douglas Park is supposed to be calming and a reminder of the beauty of nature. Unfortunately, during a recent cleanup, Fort Erie’s mayor discovered two things that put a damper on that: litter and poop.

“As we were walking around picking up the litter, I couldn’t believe the amount of dog feces in the park,” Wayne Redekop recalled as he sought support on a motion calling on town staff to examine what it’s currently doing and what more it could do to reduce litter and refuse in the community.

Credit: Town of Fort Erie

The mayor’s motion, which calls for staff to take several related actions, received support from his fellow councillors.

Nick Dubanow said it’s time for town to put a foot forward–presumably not in a pile of dog waste–and take the lead.

“We need to…create a culture where we don’t dump garbage in a park,” he said.

Redekop’s motion asks staff to look at what it’s currently doing to reduce litter and refuse on public property, what resources staff can use to promote cleanliness in town, as well as ways to get public, corporate and agency buy-in, along with a media campaign to raise awareness.

There was a time where the town relied on the work of groups like Communities in Bloom, which helped take on the burden of cleanliness. While that group is no more, others like the Crystal Beach Beautification Committee still continue that work, Redekop said.

“I think there are many people who want to get involved,” he said. “We’re trying to create a livable, walkable, attractive community and this, I think, is part of that.”

Dubanow did suggest looking at ways to make cleanup as easy as possible for trail walkers and park visitors, suggesting the fewer barriers there are the more likely residents are to avoid littering or leaving dog waste in public spaces.

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