What a bunch of heroes

Your correspondent has failed. Twice. First, he forgot to remind you of the community cleanup that Ryan Demchuk organized. Then he forgot to go.

Happily, nine capeless heroes did show up and spread out across the village cleaning parks and public spaces. I caught up with Noble, Quinn, and Sebastian Viana at Elm Park. They were quietly plugging away, making the space safe and clean for many (and my) little monkeys.

The cleanup continues. Today the grime fighters will be meeting at the Denison Park playground area and cleaning up Denison Park, Hickory Tree Rd. ravine areas, and other key areas South of Lawrence.

Next Saturday at 9:30, they will be meeting at the top of the stairs at 2160 Weston Road (above Cruickshank Park), and cleaning Cruickshank Park, Holley Park, and a few other areas on the west side of Weston

On Sunday, April 28, they–WE!–will be meeting at the Weston Lions  parking lot, and tackling Weston Lions Park.

You can join the Weston Clean Team on Facebook.

A couple of city surveys

The city is asking for your opinion on two important matters: shopping locally and parks and rec programming in York South–Weston.

The city “wants to help ensure the future sustainability of retail main streets and small, independent main street businesses”, and to plan “the types of recreation programs that will be offered in the community and ensure that programs meet the needs of all Ward 5 residents.”

Spring clean-ups

Perhaps I’m cynical but why are we annually guilt-tripped into participating in spring clean-ups? Yes, there’s garbage everywhere after a long winter but why should individual citizens feel responsible for the littering idiots and their corporate accomplices? After all, we are the (seemingly rare) ones who do put things in the trash.

This is not to disparage the wonderful people who spend time willingly to remove the foul detritus festering since November. I salute these rare and lovely citizens. Unfortunately, the question must be asked, does citizen participation contribute to the problem? Does the annual clean-up reduce the pressure to provide adequate park maintenance budgets and appropriate staffing? Does our free labour contribute to the further decline of our once pristine streets and magnificent park system?

I believe it does.

What makes up the litter in our parks and streets? A non-scientific survey indicates that coffee cups, water bottles, food containers, plastic bags and wrappers, beverage cans and cigarette butts are the main offenders. Despite this, few companies feel responsible for the garbage that proudly bears their logo – not to mention the cost of collection and disposal. That’s where governments are supposed to help. In Europe they’re working on banning single use plastics.

Toronto has no power to do that but Mayor Tory and council should apply more pressure on other levels of government. Council should also spend more on litter collection.

Skating is ON in Pearen Park

I wouldn’t go tonight, but the Pearen Park skating rink is now open.

Every year, volunteers zamboni the ice and manage free skates for anyone who drops by. They even offer lessons to new skaters.

It’s all gratis (though donations are welcome). It’s a beautiful, community-organized, ground (ice?)-up endeavour.

The good people at the MDCA can always use a helping hand, and they’re looking for volunteers to help with staffing the skate hut, flood the ice, and offer lessons.