When it comes to our waterfront, we’re finally starting to see a lot of instrumental progress when it comes to access and connectivity. But with this newfound embracement comes… litter! As more people use remote parks such as Unity Island, there are going to be problematic issues that need to be addressed. One Buffalo Rising Reader has pointed out a mounting problem at Unity Island that has become disruptive to one of “Buffalo’s quiet treasures.” Here’s what T. Hobin has to say:
Over the last few years I’ve spent at minimum a couple of hours every weekend over there (Unity Island), taking in the summer sun, and enjoying the relative peace and calm the area provides. It’s a ten minute bike ride from my house on the West Side, and I look forward to riding over there on weekend mornings to recharge in a natural setting free from the people traffic of Delaware Park (no slight to that park, but it gets busy).
Since my discovery of the Island I’ve noticed a growing number of people starting to use it, and with that a growing disregard for clean up. It used to be that there would be small pockets around the place where it was evident that some people had a quick picnic, and then left the refuse where it was. This was easy enough to clean up, frustrating, but not out of hand.
This weekend, Sunday to be exact, I went over to spend some time and was absolutely appalled at the state of the place. There was a profound amount of litter covering the entire field from one end to the other. It was astonishing, and genuinely upsetting. These were not isolated areas. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the entire Island looks this way right now.
It appears to be a mix of things. First one being obvious, that no one is cleaning up after using the park. The other is that it appears that whoever is doing the lawn maintenance, while also not cleaning anything up, is then exacerbating the issue by mowing over the existing garbage and shredding it everywhere (lead image – this is just one example of the problem… this litter issue is rampant throughout the entire park). I assume the recent windy week assisted as well.
There are ample garbage bins around the area, at least five by my count. But, it isn’t inconceivable that these blew over at some point.
I’m not really sure what to do about the issue. I think that educating the larger groups that now use the park on the virtues of clean up would be the best case scenario, but also possibly the most difficult. An organized group volunteer clean up day would be terrific, but that’s a one time fix and doesn’t address the ongoing issue.