Letter: Trash Attack

I live adjacent to the North Highlands Park in Philipstown (aka “Glassbury Park”) and walk my dog there multiple times a day, as I have been doing for the past six years.

I am beyond aggravated at the litter and countless piles of dog poop in the walking path. The other day I put on plastic gloves, grabbed my trowel and a trash bag and spent a few hours cleaning up. The bigger issue is why so many people refuse to clean up after their dogs or themselves, despite the multiple trash receptacles. Some of the trash I picked up, including twine, plastic bags and fast-food containers, pose threats to wildlife.

collected-trash

Trash collected during a day in the park

I contacted the Philipstown Recreation Department to ask that it put lids on the trash receptacles. But how can we encourage people who use the park to be responsible stewards? Is it even possible? Multiple times over the past year a sign installed to remind people to wear masks and social distance was stolen. Runners continue to pass my elderly mom, maskless and huffing and puffing, despite the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic.

I understand that the past year has been difficult, but sometimes it feels like we’ve given up being decent humans. I can’t tell you how many times I encounter dogs off leash at the park. I got run down by one earlier this year and landed on my butt in the dirt. If it had been my mother who was knocked over, she would have ended up in the hospital and the dog owner would have been responsible for the bills.

The highlight of my adventures was finding piles of human feces and toilet paper behind the landscaping equipment. The silver lining was a $5 bill in the brush — a tip for my efforts!

Heather Candon, Philipstown

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