Our Opinion: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Monday, April 10, 2006


Cherokee is fortunate to have several nice parks in and around town, and the use of the parks is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, the misuse of the parks is also at an all-time high.

The parks are well-maintained by Parks & Rec. superintendent Duane Mummert and his crew, but Mummert and Parks & Recreation Director Linda Peterson are getting very frustrated by an ever-growing problem. It's not only a big problem, you might say it's a crappy one.

You see, while there are many park users, especially those who camp, who do a great job in picking up after themselves, their kids, and their pets, there are also a pretty good-sized number who seem to forget that the parks are owned by the city and its citizens, and are not showing respect for their fellow citizens.

Many people walk their dogs at Spring Lake Park and other parks around town, and this is an activity which the Parks & Rec. Department certainly encourages, as long as the dog is on a leash, which posted signs advise people to do. However, a lot of people are not properly disposing of their dog's waste products as they should. They are simply leaving it there on the walking paths, on the playground, around the shelter house - places where many other people walk and play.

Walkers - please take ownership of your parks - Spring Lake Park and the other city parks as well. If you want to continue being able to use these free park facilities, treat it like it is your home. When you are walking your dog, take along a bag in which you can deposit any droppings from the pet. Then, simply place the bag in one of the dumpsters at the park. Mummert and his crew certainly don't mind emptying the dumpsters - that is their job. It is the job - or duty- of the rest of us to pick up after our pets, and dispose of the results in a proper manner.

If you have any suggestions for effective ways to handle this growing problem, sincere suggestions are certainly welcome at the Parks & Rec. Department. Their office is in the Community Center, and their phone number is 225- 2715.

Clean Up Your Parks!