When I drove through the gate at Birds Hill Park last weekend, I was stopped by an officer. He wanted to make sure I was aware it was a liquor-free weekend and that there was no alcohol in my car. After I passed this test, I proceeded to my campsite only to find an empty beer bottle perched like a little statue on the picnic table.
On closer inspection, I found many more bottles and other recyclables and garbage strewn about my weekend home. As I explored the park, I discovered that this was not an isolated incident. Litter has become a significant part of its landscape, including the trail to the beach.
Are park visitors so disrespectful and shortsighted that they are unable to understand the damage this is causing to this Manitoba treasure? Has the province decided that we can save a few bucks by allowing the park to turn into a landfill? I know it is not because admission to the parks is free this year as monies collected at the gate have always gone to the general kitty, not to maintain and improve our parks. The Manitoba government needs to make preserving parks a higher priority and visitors need to perform the simple task of walking to the garbage can or recycling bin.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 27, 2010 A15