The Parksville Community Park tennis courts are being left in a mess.
The City of Parksville and the OPC Oceanside Pickleball Club had been dealing with the situation on a routine basis, particularly during the summer months. They find the courts littered with drug paraphernalia, articles of clothing, food containers, wrappers, cigarette butts, orange peels and more. They have also seen the tennis nets tied up with clothing or propped up with tree branches.
Former president of the OPC Pickleball Club, Keith Hosking, indicated when city staff are unavailable to clean up the mess left behind, club members do it themselves.
“We have to do it because we need to make sure we are providing a safe place for our club to play,” said Hosking. “And that involves having to pick up debris, looking at the benches to ensure that they’re safe because back in 2021 there were a couple of incidences where there were actual needles broken on the bench. It’s not safe and we are obligated to make the courts safe for our members.”
Parksville communications officer Deb Tardiff indicated the messy courts are an ongoing problem.
“We are very much aware of the issues and bylaw and operations deal with this on an everyday basis,” said Tardiff.
Hosking said it is likely the club will continue the cleanup routine especially when the season gets underway in May, when they use the courts from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
“We have to check them every morning and that I think is going to be the process in 2023 as well,” said Hosking. “It’s about safety and we have to make sure it’s done right. It is frustrating.”
The issue is also a problem at the Springwood Tennis Courts in the city.