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Residents clean up Gloucester Park

Anti-bike park activists help organize efforts to pick up trash

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 06:00 am

CLEANUP EFFORT – More than 100 bags of garbage were taken out of Gloucester Park thanks to residents' efforts.
CLEANUP EFFORT – More than 100 bags of garbage were taken out of Gloucester Park thanks to residents' efforts.
Supplied photo

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Some residents who fought fiercely to keep Gloucester Park free of the bike skills park recently put their efforts where their petition signatures were.

Gloucester Park came under the public eye earlier this year when the site was under consideration to host a bike skills park.

A grassroots resident effort saw an informal petition circulate and neighbours organize to raise awareness and object to their only neighourhood green-space being one of two potential sites.

A site in Riel has since been selected for the bike park location provided a natural area assessment is favourable.

At the time, the Save Gloucester Park group speculated that they might host a cleanup of the park. On the first Sunday in June they made good on that promise.

“We made a commitment and we stuck with that commitment,” said Don Wilson.

Wilson and Sandra Duban were two residents who helped organize the Save Gloucester Park group, an effort which included hosting a public town hall.

They since parlayed that into organizing the cleanup effort in Gloucester.

“For a first time I think it was a great turnout,” Wilson said, noting about 45 to 50 people came out to help clean up.

He estimates over 100 bags of garbage were hauled out of the park once the cleanup team was done.

“There was lots of stuff. We cleaned out the bush. We found all sorts of stuff in there. We found clothes, blankets,” he said.

Two things became clear as a result of the cleanup, Wilson said.

“The city needs to get out there and clean the trails,” he said, noting while the residents picked up garbage, they didn’t trim undergrowth or tackle trees that are across the trails.

The second is the signage for the park is gone.

“Our sign has disappeared,” Wilson said.

The group got materials for the cleanup from the city, Wilson said, including some meat to barbecue.

They rounded out the rest of the menu by using the remainder of money donated by Ron Hodgson to their petition effort earlier this year.

Wilson said it was a great way to meet neighbours in the new Grandin area. Even people who had recently just moved to the neighbourhood came out to help clean up the trash.

“I would like to challenge the people in new Grandin to do this, to form a committee and do this. I think a fall one would be nice, and then a spring cleanup again next year,” he said.

He suggested those who’d like to be kept in the loop on future events might send an email to savegloucesterpark@gmail.com.


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