Due to an ongoing issue with drug users littering them with needles, the City has removed all portable toilets from baseball diamonds outside of South Bear Creek Park. Manager Kirsten Maher says this wasn’t an issue last year when they first put washrooms at the Parkside and Leisure Centre fields.
“We have gotten feedback from some players who have found needles on the playing fields themselves and we also deal with Elite [Vac & Steam] who services the units and they’ve have several issues, so it didn’t make sense to keep them out there.”
Dave Barr is the worst location, with 15 needles found by players and service staff last week alone. It’s likely the portables will return next season, and the situation will be monitored again. The porta potties remain at South Bear Creek Park itself, where extracurricular activities don’t seem to be as big of a problem.
Ever since the City took over management and maintenance of South Bear Creek Park in 2014, it’s been the subject of major upgrades and development. Two new baseball diamonds are in the works, the East Coast Garden Party site has been moved and improved, and the Wee Links golf course has been replaced with an artificial turf. As it moves ahead, Maher says the City is looking for feedback on existing and future facilities through an online survey.
“They’re a very vocal group, all the users of the park; they’re not shy. We do enjoy their feedback and it gives us good direction; it’s nice that they have sort of a formal process to give their input.”
Wee Links will not be reopening this year, and city council is waiting on the results of the survey to help them decide on a long-term plan. The survey is roughly five questions and available until July 29th.