INDEPENDENT NEWS

The Victoria Park Pond’s Clean And Refill Is Finished, But Trashy Habits Have Been Uncovered

Published: Thu 16 May 2024 10:30 AM
Since mid-February, Stratford District Council (SDC) has been draining and cleaning out the scenic Victoria Park pond to look after its health and make sure the pond can continue doing its important job of filtering silt and sediment out of incoming water before the flow joins the Pātea River.
The pond has recently been excavated of silt and refilled, temporary fencing removed, the crayfish and eels moved during the draining process can now return, and a viewing area has been created with SDC hoping to install seating so people can enjoy the view.
John Cooper, SDC Services Asset Manager, says the pond is now looking at its best, but as the water in the pond was drained, a massive amount of rubbish was revealed.
“When the water receded, we found around 15 scooters, 3 bikes, a pram, a cash register, 2 stolen signs from the local bike park, a bin from the skate park, guttering and nova coil, a heap of drink and food packaging, and over 15 road cones. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone had chucked a partridge and a pear tree in there, too,” says John.
“Littering and illegally dumping rubbish is not on. Having to deal with illegal dumping is a growing issue that affects not only the council but also our community. It costs us a lot of money to clean up after these dumpers, and that money is coming from our district’s ratepayers.”
“It’s incredibly disappointing to have to spend money to replace a stolen park sign, but then to find it in the pond and have to pay again to clean it out and dispose of it, is just the trash icing on the vandalism cake.”
While rubbish was removed after the pond was drained, more is set to be revealed next summer when the silt excavated from the pond is dry enough to be screened before it’s spread onto pasture.
It’s illegal to dump rubbish in public areas. If people see illegally dumped rubbish, they should report it through SDC’s Antenno app, call 0800 DUMPING, or if the rubbish might affect a waterway, phone Taranaki Regional Council’s environment hotline on 0800 736 222.
Illegal dumping of rubbish in a public place within the district may result in an infringement notice of up to $400.

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