Litter never sleeps in Leaside

The leftovers of a party night in Trace Manes Park. Photo Cheryl Vanderburg.
The leftovers of a party night in Trace Manes Park. Photo Cheryl Vanderburg.

The April “big clean” may have come and gone, but it seems that litter never sleeps. And it is never so prevalent than when you live across the street from a public space like Trace Manes Park, as I do. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years which might be helpful to keep the park clean this summer:

Pedalheads

The sports field is home to Pedalheads bike camp. I must say, there is nothing more adorable than seeing young kids learning to ride a bike for the first time, or learning bike safety by riding through the neighbourhood. But (there’s always a ‘but’) what is decidedly not adorable is the amount of litter that gets left under the trees along Rumsey Road after snack and lunch time.

If you don’t like it, rather than simply complaining on the Leaside Community Facebook site, go right to the source and email Pedalheads at . I’ve done this numerous times; they are very responsive and things do improve. It’s just unfortunate they need to be reminded every year! And if you use the fields as an off-leash dog park, which it is not, please pick up your dog poop so that young feet don’t go squish. More than once I’ve seen kids playing and then exclaiming “eeww, dog poop.”

Baseball

The baseball diamond is home to the Leaside Baseball Association. Nothing says summer more than the sound of the crack of the baseball bat and teammates and parents cheering the players on as they run the bases. All I ask is that the dugouts and bleachers be left clean of sunflower seed packets, water bottles, team lineup cards and takeaway drinks and snacks. Things have definitely improved over the years. But if you do see an issue, go to the source: their email address is . Once again, they are very responsive and things do improve.

Playground

The Georgia Walsh playground is truly a gift to the community. During the day it is a great place for kids to play, schools to enjoy outings, birthday parties to be held, and families to get together. At night it turns into a teen gathering spot where, unfortunately, the noise, at times, can be quite disruptive to the neighbours along McRae and Rumsey. And it can become littered with slushy cups, broken glass, eggs thrown onto the tennis courts. …I was a kid once too so I get the need to have somewhere to hang out with your friends. But think about the parents who bring their kids to the park on a Saturday or Sunday morning to these unsafe and unsanitary conditions. As we don’t have a City-sponsored community Adopt a Park program, it’s best to call 311 if the playground needs a good cleaning. This will log the complaints so the City is aware of the issues, and the mess will be cleaned up immediately. There is a plan to add a second set of garbage/litter bins inside the park on the McRae side so that might help.

I hope I don’t sound too much like a litter curmudgeon. That’s not my intent. Rather I’m hoping to rally the community to keep Trace Manes a beautiful spot for all of us to enjoy. And as Jane Jacobs says, “people don’t litter where there is no litter.” Happy summer!

About Cheryl Vanderburg 44 Articles
Cheryl Vanderburg writes the monthly column "Leaside Litterati." She is a local 'plogger' who combines her love of walking with picking up litter. She hopes to inspire all Leasiders to join this newest craze to stay fit and keep our neighborhood green and clean.