Column: Hats off for good deed

Goose kaka on the Scout Island beach has been a source of public dismay for years now, and it gets worse as the goose population grows.

Goose kaka on the Scout Island beach has been a source of public dismay for years now, and it gets worse as the goose population grows.

It’s a pity. Not many cities have a lake with a sandy beach in their backyards.

Once upon a time the beach/picnic area was a popular spot for all ages, local and visitors alike. The city abandoned the beach after the indoor pool was built, and eventually the geese took over.

It became unusable as a family recreational spot. The question is, who’s responsible for maintaining the area? I think the city, but obviously successive councils haven’t agreed.

Enter resident Karen Frey. Armed with garden rakes and garbage bags, she and a few friends have been spending a couple of hours every morning “grooming” the beach, making it usable, and it is being used as the word gets out.

Interesting to note that since Karen and crew have been cleaning the beach, they’ve noticed a “drastic reduction in garbage on the ground.”

Scout Island is, and should be recognized as the city’s crown jewel. The Nature Centre is world class. It has to be protected, there is no question about that, but there must be a way for people to enjoy the beach and picnic area, too.

There are ways to solve the issues, but the city would have to pursue them. In the meantime, surely council could scare up a few dollars to clean up the poop.

If there’s no money in the budget to hire scoopers, council could sneak  a few dollars from the reserve funds. I’d be happy if some of my tax dollars went that way.

Our city hasn’t much in the way of free recreation facilities. Fees put many activities out of reach for families, so let’s make better use of what we have.

Meantime, hats off to Karen and the grooming crew, volunteers of the highest order.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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