Our readers debate: Who is to blame for trash in the park?

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We’re not the only ones all fired up about the trash in Prospect Park. Our online article about the mess left behind by the apparently illegal MIH Ventures “Heatwave” barbecue this weekend (“Holy crap! Prospect Park was even worse this weekend!” online, July 20) and a subsequent follow up (“Update! Parks Dept. will go after the dirty birds!” online, July 21) received a bevy of comments from our readers. Here’s a fair synopsis:

It’s time for metal Dumpsters in Prospect Park! What’s more unsightly, a few green Dumpsters or acres of land that look more like a landfill than a park?

Kimberly S, Park Slope

Fire the parks administrator and replace her with someone who knows how to keep things in order and clean. Enough talk already.

Al Pankin, Downtown

This is one of the many events of the young upscale urban community in Brooklyn each year. Due to its growing popularity, those with less-than-stellar intentions have begun to frequent it.

I know this is not only the fault of the crowd, but the Park administration has been consistently lax in its duties this summer.

That said, next year a new venue or proper paperwork should be in order.

Kady, Clinton Hill

It is irresponsible, naive, and frankly pathetic to say that the disgusting mass of trash left behind by the MIH Ventures crowd was not the fault of MIH Ventures and the revelers they invited. The parks service and our tax dollars should in no way be responsible for cleaning up after MIH Ventures’ illegal party in Prospect Park. The promoters plea to “clean up your trash” and “treat this park like home” displays their complete lack of foresight and planning and, frankly, their negligence. If this is the way the MIH Ventures’ guests treat their homes then no wonder they had to have their illegal party in the park.

MIH Ventures knew exactly what they were doing and can in no way plead ignorance or a take over by uninvited guests. They had alcohol and a live DJ along with the food and drinks they were serving, so obviously they planned ahead for the crowds.

The promoters should not only be fined, and charged with all the violations that they racked up, but they should also be forced (either through legal channels or by public opinion) to help clean up the vodka bottles, plastic plates, cups, forks, napkins, rib bones and soda cans and bottles that were still blanketing the meadow [on Monday].

Kristyn, Park Slope

Kristyn, you are not stating facts! The group did not provide alcohol to anyone and did not provide beverages in glass bottles. You were not present. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Brooklyn Visitor, Bronx

I saw the alcohol and there are pictures of it. Whether they provided it or not is beside the point. There were enough giant bottles of vodka lying on the ground to make it clear that it was at least condoned and definitely not hidden or cleaned up.

Kristyn, Park Slope

They need to pay for the clean-up. The reality is that they knew it was going to be over 1,000 people (as cited in the e-mail) and should have either had their own volunteers assigned to clean-up duty or gotten the proper permits. Now, they need to pay the city for the mess they left. Plain and simple!Realista, Harlem

I went to the event for the first time and was shocked to see fire pits with little children running around, people basically bartending, and so many people cramped in to what would be consider a fire hazard in an enclosed space. I am from California and this sort of display would never be allowed.

I was with a friend, but was basically anxious to leave because I felt unsafe in such a hazardous environment. Secondly, it turned into a serious meat market. That is not what I call fun.

Tammy, out of town

Be easy, Tammy, or stay home next time. You’ll be safe there — one less person’s trash to worry about. Maybe they underestimated their popularity, but the Parks Department needs to be accountable as well.

Lila, Prospect Heights

MIH has held this event for years and has never received such flack. While I understand the concern of the leftover trash and lack of respect for the park, the blame cannot fully be on the promoters. At one point, they had people walking around with trash bags urging people to dispose of their trash accordingly and there were continuous pleas for people to pick up after themselves.

If this is the first time anyone has had to complain then that is surely a testament to what they’ve been able to do for a group of people (albeit a large group) looking to have a great day in the park.

It became bigger than ever and was hard to contain. So I understand the frustration, but the blame is not being placed fully in the right direction.

Miss D, Crown Heights

MIH, we love you guys. In the case of any fines being levied against MIH, you guys be sure to get the word out where donations can be sent to offset any such fines.

Wayne-o, Park Slope

MIH’s own invitation indicated they were expecting more than 1,000 attendees, and were planning on “taking over the park” at an unpermitted and thus illegal event. It was irresponsible, pre-planned and a disgrace. I hope they lose major clients over this debacle.

Meredith, Park Slope

Pathetic. Only the hipsters going to Celebrate Brooklyn have to follow the rules of the park. Seems like everyone else is OK to have a free-for-all.

Noname, Carroll Gardens

I was there and it was one of the most beautiful gatherings of black professionals that I have seen in a while. Everyone who attended had a great time at an event that occurred without incident.

Tammy, I’m sorry you felt threatened or fearful, but you probably haven’t spent time around a large number of educated black people. Contrary to media reports, we do exist.

It’s just trash, people. Geez.

Michelle, Prospect Heights

Slobs are slobs, no matter what race, gender, ethnic origin or education. I’ve seen slobs on pristine beaches in East Hampton, yakking on cellphones while strewing junk all over the place. Parts of Brooklyn that are allegedly “notorious” are home to some of the cleanest blocks in the city. It’s all a matter of personal responsibility.

DoTheRightThing, Sunset Park

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Reader Feedback

LikeItIs from Bay Ridge says:
@Michelle, Prospect Heights
Yep, if they were so damned educated they would have known to take their trash out of the park. Slobs are slobs, no matter how "educated" or "professional" they are. Professional slobs. That's about it.
July 23, 2009, 7:55 pm
Garfunkel from Canarsie says:
Get this:

I guess they're still searching.
Sound familiar?
July 23, 2009, 8:14 pm
David from Park Slop says:
I think whoever does a party, organized or not you should always clean behind you no matter what.
When events like that are set up the event promoter should promote it on so it get a buzz and the event could be well organized with awarness to the people in Brooklyn.
July 25, 2009, 12:43 pm
em from park slope says:
this is NOT a testiment to the professional black folks as you mention noname, it is a sad state of affairs that whomever it was that attended this event felt compelled to trash a beautiful park and walk away from their own garbage and responsibility. i live near where the event took place and it wasn't about fear, race, or professionals. It was about respect, morality and decency of which the attendees had none of...I agree with Michelle of prospect heights...
July 29, 2009, 10:07 am
Personal Responsibility from Prospect Heights says:
How hard is it to get this?!
-If you are anywhere outside your own home, you -and only you - are responsible for the trash that is resulting from you being there! Blaming someone else for your trash being left behind is appallingly selfish - and irresponsible.

Civilized people (no matter what race, gender, class, education, age.etc) understand this, and act accordingly.
Aug. 14, 2009, 11:13 am

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