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July 8, 2010 / Perspective / Meadows of Shame

Blame park users

The Brooklyn Paper
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Summertime — and the livin’ is sleazy.

Monday morning visitors to Prospect Park are long accustomed to the abject filth, disgusting debris and mounds of garbage that linger long after the fun of Sunday afternoon picnics and barbecues is done.

But few regulars had ever seen as repulsive a sight as the tsunami of trash that littered the lakefront on the park’s southeastern side on July 5.

This was not merely the leftovers of a fun day in the park. This was wanton disregard for basic human dignity. The park looked like a tornado had swept through a house — and not a tidy house, mind you, but one owned by a Collyer descendent.

In the midst of this landfill of revulsion, it was fairly easy to place the vast majority of the blame where it belongs: on park users.

No truly decent human being would leave his or her own park in such a shambles. There’s no other way to say it: these people are vile.

Park workers were on hand fairly quickly, but the administrators of the park are not blameless for the disgusting conditions allowed to exist on their watch.

For years, this newspaper has been running weekly stories about filth inside Prospect Park. And for years, the Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance have made merely cosmetic changes. There have been a few more Dumpsters and receptacles added, and there has been a charcoal awareness campaign, but mostly, park officials have downplayed the problem, and elected officials, who actually control the Parks Department and the NYPD, have ignored decent park users’ cry for help.

Here is what needs to be done — and fast:

• More enforcement officers writing more tickets.

• More trash receptacles emptied more frequently during summer weekends.

• A massive TV, radio and Internet campaign to remind park users that not even animals defile their own living spaces.

• An immediate investigation of whether a “carry-in, carry-out” policy needs to be implemented. Such policies are in place in national and state parks, so there’s no reason why a version of it could not be undertaken here.

This week’s filth comes as last year’s illegal “Heatwave” party attempts to get a permit for a July 18 bash. That permit needs to be denied. Park users have shown that they cannot be trusted — and the Parks Department and the Alliance have shown that they can’t handle the hordes.

Today’s news:
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Reader Feedback

Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
It's really astounding that someone -- anyone -- who values Prospect Park as a place to spend a warm summer day would leave the Park in this condition. If people can carry in the makings of a picnic, they can carry it back out, since presumably, their load will be lighter for what they consumed.

Enforcement should certainly be stepped up, and ticketing would go a long way toward curbing this kind of misbehavior. And there could be more trash receptacles, for sure. But let's imagine if there were a sanitation strike. What then? Would the picnicker's answer be, well, it's not our fault?

We all need to be responsible for our own messes. If the can is full, take your trash with you.
July 8, 2010, 10:04 am
Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope. says:
Eric McClure from Park Slope, is it really astoundiing, or even surprising? Ever tried to get someone in the subway to lower their earbuds so that they aren't audible 15 ft. away? We live in a world of primitive, narcissistic beings raised by the liberal welfare state.
July 8, 2010, 2:27 pm
Park fan from Windsor Terrace says:
Actually Steven, we live in a world of primitive, narcissistic beings raised with a conservative "every man for himself" ethic.
July 8, 2010, 3:12 pm
Joey Bots from BOTS Ville says:
I support Steve! It is the liberal mentality that preaches that a citizen can't correct someone who is doing wrong. Hey maybe it is a lifesystyle choice - who are we to judge!
Look what happened to New York after the sixties! Park Fan - you need to examine the reality of your views - they are faulty - as is all liberal thought. Now hug you patcholi ridden body and sing Kumbaya!!
July 8, 2010, 4:09 pm
Dock Oscar from Park Slop says:
You're right, narcissism does seem to go with liberals. But the "I'll do what I want to until I get caught" seems to be a Conservative credo. Not sure which credo allows this mess to occur. Maybe the tree huggers were so busy hugging trees that they couldn't use their arms to carry garbage out of the park. Yeah, that's it. Must be.

Now go hug your Glenn Beck doll.
July 8, 2010, 5:10 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
This is a reflection of a culture of waste and self-interest. America the beautiful? These park destroyers do not know the meaning.
July 8, 2010, 5:40 pm
john from lower east side says:
poor low income slobs
July 8, 2010, 5:50 pm
alpankin from downtown says:
the officals in charge of the park should be fired and replaced by competent public officals...that park was turned into BBQ heaven by a bunch of pigs.
July 8, 2010, 6:10 pm
Winston Smith from Poop Slope says:
Park staff should be handing out bags and collecting trash, not asking volunteers to do that. Nobody should be blaming park users.
July 8, 2010, 6:32 pm
Bob Scott from Brooklyn Heights says:
Where are the garbage cans?
July 8, 2010, 8:03 pm
Kalahari Dessert from Ft Greene says:
Try looking at the SW corner of Ft. Greene Park on a Sunday. Who is subsidizing the cleanup of barbecues? The same people who are subsidizing the 2010 SUV's parked in public housing parking lots across the street.
July 8, 2010, 11:14 pm
Sam from Slope says:
Since they act like children, treat them like children - no barbeques in the park for 30 days. If that doesn't get the message across, ban them permanently. no one would miss them, except the pigs who destroy the park every weekend.
July 8, 2010, 11:42 pm
jay from pslope says:
What needs to happen is the lazy fat slob park rangers who do everything possible to do not work need to go and do their job and issue summons to each and every single one of these scum bags. After they get done with that, then they can go and give the bike nazi pigs tickets for running red lights, not following traffic laws, failing to yield the right of way to peedestirans, ridding the wrong way, failure to have proper equipment (all bikes must have a bell in nyc) etc. Don't even get me started on the stupid bike lane that was put in on PPW. I still see bikes ridding down the middle of the street against traffic even though they have there own damn lane! Ticket them all, and do it twice.
Sheesh the city is in an economic crisis, this is EASY money for the city, but of course it would mean that someone from the city might actually have to do something for a few minutes, and on a weekend no less!! Gasp!
July 9, 2010, 9:46 pm
Jon from Park Slope says:
The blame falls first on the Prospect Park Alliance which has NEVER had an adequate garbage policy and yet has seemingly EXPANDED the amount of BBQ-ing allowed in the park. I live a block away and never go in the summer. It is disgusting.
July 10, 2010, 1:46 pm
trace from park slope says:
It is amazing how much pleasure this park can give inner-city people, it's design holding up after over 100 years..These are just the debris of celebrations. I think you can see gods goodness in the garbage.
July 12, 2010, 1:27 pm
Kalahari Dessert from Ft. Greene says:
"These are just the debris of celebrations "

This is the debris of a mind's take on the world.
July 14, 2010, 9:36 am

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