As the weather warms, Branford’s favored parks are becoming magnets for outdoor enthusiasts who have begun to emerge from hibernation. The , popular among walkers and dog lovers, has been hopping recently and the increased traffic also means an increase in trash.
Park frequenter and owner of two labs, John Tolbert, said he has noticed many bags of dog waste left by the park entrance. “People take the time to bag their dog's poop and then leave the bag. For who,” he asked? “Could someone please explain this logic?”
Patch contacted Ainsley Highman of Branford's Parks and Open Space Committee, who oversees the Supply Ponds, to find out if there were plans for adding trash receptacles to the park to possibly alleviate the influx of litter left near the park entrance/exit and along the trails.
About five years ago, Highman said there were trash barrels in the parking lot at the park. Often, they were the targets of vandals, he explained.
“They occasionally would be dumped in the parking lot by vandals,” he detailed. Highman said wildlife would also get into the trashcans and people would dispose of household trash in the cans, which were intended for small litter from the park not residents home waste.
The final straw, he recalled, was when vandals emptied the trash barrels and tossed them into the pond. “At that point we felt we should try to go without them,” said Highman.
“The trend sate wide and really nationally, is the “leave no trace” approach and what it really means, is take out what you bring in,” said Highman. “There are many dog walkers and walkers who take trash out and dispose of it at their homes and that’s the really the responsible thing to do.”
After five years of trying this, Highman said the Parks & Open Space Committee has realized that there might be a need to bring some type of trash receptacle back given that residents continue to leave litter near the gate.
This spring they hope to place one trashcan to start in the parking lot and are currently researching the best type of receptacle to purchase. The proposed cost is unknown at this time. Highman said he hopes to purchase the best but most affordable can that will not invite residents to stuff large trash bags inside. The plan is to have a can placed at the Supply Ponds this spring. Highman is also working to figure out who will pick-up the trash from the can and how often.
On a separate note, Highman also added that he’s looking into adding more parking at the Supply Ponds if possible. Over the past five years, spaces continue to grow to accommodate the crowd. Highman asks all residents to try to park in the gravel areas and not along the grass on the pond-side of the park.