How to make Nelson a cleaner city

Two recent Star items have similar messages about who we are and where we live and call Nelson residents to community action.

Two recent Star items have similar messages about who we are and where we live and call Nelson residents to community action.

The June 29 lane clean-up campaign asks residents to remove unwanted structures; to trim overhanging trees/shrubs and dispose of combustible from the laneways and to ensure parked vehicles do not obstruct through traffic.

Residents have an opportunity to cleanup laneways for two weeks before assessments are done to identify problem areas.

The June 27 dog owner article says people tried to pull down the fence erected for public safety at the dog walk and left “buckets of dog feces along the fence.” The article provided alternative areas for dog walking during high water.

I do not believe the walking area is the real issue in this article. The issue is that some — not all — dog walkers believe the dog walk is an area where dogs can do their business without the need for owners to be responsible and clean up after their pet even when the city provides bags/bins for disposing of dog poop.

These pet owners live throughout Nelson and appear to also abdicate their responsibility to clean up after their pets on city laneways.

While walking my dogs I see other owners with bags tied to leashes who keep walking after their pet has pooped with the bag still either tied to the leash or in hand. The bag is obviously for appearances only as the owner never uses it and others just don’t bother to carry or use bags.

Pets cannot clean up after themselves, so if you own a dog be responsible: do not let it roam free, use a leash where you may come in contact with other animals and people unless the area is off leash and always pick-up after your pet.

Pet waste transmits disease to humans and animals. It is the responsibility of the owner to clean up after their pet. It should be a law with a fine attached for offenders.

If you walk your dog on laneways you will notice in addition to the items identified in the laneway clean-up campaign animal feces (bagged and without bags), broken bottles and glasses, restaurant food containers and drink cans, clothes, abandoned trash to treasure items, weeds, overgrown grass, tree suckers, tumbled down compost bins/fences, unwanted building supplies and garbage strewn along laneways.

Nelson prides itself for garden tours and heritage walks. Most residents are proud of their homes/yards and maintain them, however, appear to feel no need to maintain “public” areas such as laneways that are now being used as community connectors by people, their pets and animals including skunks.

We are the public. The laneways are ours. I challenge all owners and renters to invest a couple of hours into their community.

Go beyond the lane clean-up campaign. Clean up after your pets. Remove garbage, wastes, dangerous items such as broken glass and trim unwanted vegetation along your property line.

Pam St. Thomas