Just before COVID hit in March 2020 my younger son started taking a daily walk to Patterson Parkette when getting my mail and to enjoy the area. But as time went on, he was disappointed by the lack of respect some people have for the park. One time, a group must have held a late-night party there and the area was strewn with debris and empty bottles. The next week, it appeared as if someone had driven an ATV into the area running over some plants and smashing a retaining wall. Both times, he came home upset but with pictures of the damage which he reported to the city. Richmond Hill staff diligently came out and repaired the site.
“Why won’t people take care of the beauty around them” became my son’s theme. If they carried bottles to the beach, why won’t they carry the empties home – or at least to the garbage container at the street where their cars are parked?
His own home happens to be across the road from a path to the lakefront of Lake Ontario and he takes a daily walk on that beach as well.
Again, he noted the garbage strewn about. After contacting the city, he found them less receptive to his reports making him declare Richmond Hill to be an eco-friendlier community. The beach also had the remains of late-night “campfires” which IMHO presents another problem and a bigger potential risk. The good news – the lack of response and action by city staff spurred him to change his daily walk routine.
Since then, his lake front walk includes gathering and bagging the garbage and leaving the bag at the street where the garbage trucks go by on their weekly run. He doesn't mind doing this as he wants to enjoy the beauty of “his” beach. But he wishes that people who bring bottles and bags to the beach would take them home in the same containers they brought them in. I suggested he place a sign which worked for a while, but it doesn’t appear to be a long-term answer. And now, a year and a half later the beach debris is getting worse. Ideas welcomed.
Regardless, he continues to enjoy walking along “his” beach and to Patterson Parkette.
We all enjoy nature. But please help care for it as well.
Photo of Pattison Park by Chris Robart.
Lakefront photo by A. Coyne