A Parksville resident was alarmed to find needles recklessly left in a forested area near Springwood Elementary School.
Billy Buhler said he and a friend were returning some bottles at the Recycling Depot at 611A Alberni Highway when nature called. With no washroom available to the public, Buhler walked to a nearby forested area across the railway tracks.
“When I looked down I saw all the needles scattered in the area,” said Buhler. “What was alarming was I was wearing sandals and could have easily stepped on one of them.”
Buhler said after they had finished at the bottle depot, he and his friend went and looked further around the area. They found the place to be a complete mess, with garbage strewn all over, including drug-use paraphernalia.
“There were all sort of things like condoms, needle packaging, rubber they use to tie in their arms and stuff like that,” said Buhler. “They’re everywhere. It is a concern because it is close to the elementary school. Kids could easily wander into this place and be put at risk. I don’t know what the answer is but something has got to change.”
The secluded area, privately owned but in Electoral Area G under the Regional District of Nanaimo’s jurisdiction, has been used as a campground by unknown individuals. RDN staff has indicated previously it is the responsibility of the owners to deal with the mess in such cases.
On May 2, residents were upset to find needles and garbage left under a picnic table at the Parksville Community Park. One resident, Deanna Breuker was disgusted by it and is organizing a protest on May 13 at 9 a.m. outside Parksville city hall.
Last year, a Qualicum Beach woman stepped on a dirty needle while she was at a farmer’s market in Qualicum Beach.