In this photo posted to social media on May 2, needles and other garbage can be seen left on a picnic table near the playground at the Parksville Community Park. - Facebook photo

In this photo posted to social media on May 2, needles and other garbage can be seen left on a picnic table near the playground at the Parksville Community Park. - Facebook photo

Parksville residents furious after needles found near playground in community park

‘Today was it for a lot of people’

Residents are upset after needles and other garbage was found left on and around a picnic table in Parksville Community Park, near the playground, on May 2.

A photo was posted on social media, showing several needles left on and near a picnic table next to the playground, causing a stir from residents concerned for children playing in the park.

“That was feet away from our child’s playground so I snapped. I’m tired of it, everybody’s tired of it. We need to band together,” said longtime Parksville resident Deanna Breuker.

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The mess has prompted Breuker to organize a protest for May 13 at 9 a.m. outside Parksville city hall. She hopes the city lwil put funds toward a task force that could provide 24-hour patrolling.

“Today was it for a lot of people, seeing that and knowing the layout of how far that picture was taken and exactly how many feet that was from that playground… it’s created a huge stir,” Breuker said. “We’re hearing it’s happening everywhere but we can’t control everywhere, we can only worry about us here and make change, or try to.”

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Deb Tardiff, communications manager with the city, said once advised or made aware of needles on city property, staff evaluate the situation and will remove the needles or call in a bio-hazard contractor if necessary.

The city does provide sharps containers in all city-controlled public restrooms located at the Community Park, Springwood Park, Foster Park and the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre.

Tardiff said there are patrols of the community park on a regular basis, although none after 11 p.m. when the gates close.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

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