BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – THERE IS A MYSTERY HAUNTING DELAWARE PARK NEAR THE BASKETBALL COURTS,
but Olmsted Parks officials would rather the culprits just improve their shooting skills than discovering who they really are.
The obvious clues are the discarded wrappers, bottles, and other trash they leave on the ground when garbage totes are as close as a layup.
A concerned resident posted pictures on a Facebook page for Delaware Park supporters, a resident disgusted with debris left on the ground when there are several large garbage totes nearby. People who use the park are disgusted, too, and it seems that everybody is looking for a solution.
Noelle Barlow goes to the play area with her niece and young daughter to improve fitness and enjoy the park. She is incensed that people would disrespect the park.
“You wouldn’t litter in your home so why litter in the park where everybody has to come, workout and enjoy themselves, family time and all. I don’t want to walk through trash and be trying to run and do my exercises, and I have to fumble over trash.”
But go into Delaware Park during the day and the grounds are clean as a whistle, even around the basketball courts along Parkside Ave. That is because most of the trash gets dumped overnight, and an Olmsted Parks crew is out first thing in the morning picking it all up.
The playground area stays spic and span all day, but Bob Stotz, Director of Operations for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy said devoting about two hours to the playground cleanup diverts valuable manpower from other areas of the park.
“So maybe the weed whacking doesn’t get done. Someone comes by and it is hard for me to explain to the public that the reason that weed whacking isn’t getting done is because on the other side they are picking up trash, which there’s totes there.”
Jennifer Gold, a park patron, has seen the garbage when she walks through the park early in the morning, and finds the messy grounds disturbing.
“This is a gorgeous, gorgeous place and it is for everybody. It is for the golfers, the walkers, the dog walkers, the tennis players, the basketball players, children. You know you wouldn’t dump this in your yard, so why can you not use the garbage totes here.”
Gold hatched an idea for encouraging folks to use the totes near the basketball courts–clever signage using basketball jargon such as, “Free Throw These!” and “Slam Dunk These!” with images of empty plastic bottles going into a basketball hoop.
They are suggesting whoever is leaving the garbage on the ground needs to improve their aim when tossing the discards at the garbage totes.
Then there are the signs using images of the totes, including one that says, “Nothing But Tote” a play on a popular euphemism, “Nothing but net”, when the basketball goes in without touching the rim or backboard.
Right now, the sign are just in their early stages. Olmsted Parks officials will settle on possibly one or two of the prospective signs, or they might even come up with something better.
Using law enforcement discourage littering would be a last resort. Parks officials said the fine for failing to use a trash receptacle is $52.50 but citing anyone with that kind of violation would be a tough job.
By Al Vaughters, News 4 Reporter
Watch the full interview here: http://wivb.com/2016/05/27/parks-officials-respond-to-delaware-park-garbage-complaints/