Last spring, after being frustrated by the amount of litter, I moved forward with organizing a Pitch-In clean up event for the community in which I resided in on the North Island.
While soliciting funds and support from local businesses, making presentations to the town council and writing letters to the local paper, I referenced my home community, Parksville/Qualicum, as an example of a community that cares and works together to reduce the litter and to keep the landscape clean.
After reading the articles in The NEWS regarding Little Mountain and visiting the site myself last week, I am embarrassed and appalled at what is happening in our community. I feel like a liar.
I applaud both Megan Oslen and Jamie Black, who, while having different views on how it should be done, have the same goal to eliminate the garbage that is piling up at the base of Little Mountain and to draw attention to the issue.
I am concerned however, after hiking in and surveying the site, with the idea of untrained individuals walking in and around the debris in an attempt to remove it. It is on a very treacherous slope and there is so much of it, many items are large and heavy, someone is likely to get injured.
As well, I wonder what is the point? If preventative and deterrent measures are not put in place to stop it from happening in the future, then why bother cleaning it? From my research, this is not the first time a clean-up rally has been organized; it has been done a few times over the past 20 years, at a great expense each time. Before the women and their teams spend too much time and energy to move this huge pile of garbage, can the RDN, Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Transportation, City of Parksville not take measures to stop this dumping from continuing?
While Little Mountain is a community gem with a beautiful look-out and hiking trails that should be enjoyed by all, it is obvious that we, people, are not responsible enough and as a community are abusing it.