Caring for our park

Dear Editor,

Three weeks ago I went across the road to Green Park (near my home), and was shocked to see the dreadful state that it was in. There was litter, broken glass and all sorts of other mess everywhere, graffiti was sprayed all over the wooden play equipment, the swings had been vandalised, and several young trees had been snapped and broken.

A couple of weeks later, I saw a group of people working there - it turned out to be the local Rainbows group, who, with their parents, grandparents, siblings and other helpers, have carried out a major clean up in the park. It now looks much better. This is a wonderful example of young people helping out in the community and I would like to congratulate all those involved - well done!

I think that our local park, like all parks, is important for many reasons: it should be a safe place for children and toddlers to play away from traffic; people can exercise their dogs there in a green open space (without leaving dog dirt); it's somewhere to find fresh air, flowers and lovely trees (many people on the estate nearby have very small gardens, or live in flats with no garden at all); elderly people could also meet there or sit on the benches to feed the birds and squirrels. Without doubt, the park could benefit the whole community.

I was very sad to see the park so badly neglected. The broken glass and vandalised swings are very dangerous for young children, and the shabby appearance of the place must have put many people off visiting it at all.

In my opinion, the park is the responsibility of everyone in the community, and we should all take an interest in it. We must not allow a few people to spoil something that many people enjoy. If local people show that they care strongly about the park then the vandalism and littering will stop, and all the wonderful work of the Rainbows group will not be undone. (And, by the way, please could the Council provide some 'dog poo bins'!)

There are a number of huge environmental problems in the world today, such as air pollution and global warming, and I know that many people feel that they are powerless to make things better. However, I feel sure that if more people, young and old, became involved in local environmental issues like looking after our park, then they would see that they can make a difference.

Cath Miller
Park Road