Help offered for Scout Island cleanup

Alex Miller with Community Corrections in Williams Lake might be able to help with Scout Island beach cleanup.

Alex Miller with Community Corrections in Williams Lake might be able to help with Scout Island beach cleanup.

He’s always looking for community work placements for people who owe community work to the courts, so when he heard from Coun. Danica Hughes about problems with goose droppings at the beach over the summer, he made the offer.

“We’ve done some garbage cleanup before, and had people do some hillside cleanup, depending on the weather and safety of the area. It it’s OK with the city and with Scout Island, we could send some people over there,” Miller said.

During a report to council at its committee of the whole meeting Sept. 11, general manager of planning and operations Geoff Goodall said the city wasn’t as diligent as it should have been about cleaning the beach and adjacent grass last summer and will focus more of its attention on the beach in 2013.

“Geese are definitely a problem as they fly in and graze on the grass near the beach and we have no means of cleaning up the grass. Years ago we tried a fence on the beach; that didn’t work. It would seem the number of geese is increasing and staff is having difficulty keeping up with maintenance,” Goodall said, adding the city has ordered a number of swan decoys that will be placed on the grass for next spring.

When residents expressed concern about the abundance of goose droppings on the beach after resident Brenda Ballas wrote a letter to the editor to a local news media outlet about the problem, people volunteered one day in August to clean the beach.

The group raked for a little more than an hour and removed 18 20-pound bags from the area.

Coun. Surinderpal Rathor described Scout Island as a “jewel in the community” that needs to be kept clean.

“It should be made a priority. Swans will help, but there should be no question when it comes to cleaning. Whatever it takes.”