Wilma and the Moorehead Park P.AL.S

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The Brampton Parks people are trusting us to create a neighbourhood group to support Wilma’s park adoption. So, if you live in the Moorehead Park area, please consider joining our ‘MOOREHEAD PARK P.A.L.S

We are looking for friendly, caring people who want to join their Moorehead Park neighbours, to make their neighbourhood a better, safer and more beautiful place to live and follow Willma’s lead.

Please let us know if you are interested. Our goal is to unite neighbours in the area and work together to keep the park clean, enhance it’s beauty and transform Moorehead Park into a “SAFE for our children, pets and wildlife, litter-free zone,” A “litter-free zone” is one where: people don’t litter, if they see litter they pick it up and if they see someone littering they report them. It will be easy to keep the park clean with Wilma and others leading the way and picking up litter but the true measure of a “litter-free zone” is that no one litters there.

We will need to brainstorm together, monitor the littering situation and come up with creative and innovative ideas we can use to try and stop the littering or at least drastically reduce it. P.A.L. is about looking for solutions! We do not intend to be mopping up from a leaking “litter tap” forever. We want to stop the leak! We will keep trying different strategies until we discover what works. I think it will be an interesting experiment and a fun challenge! If we can transform parks where littering is a problem, (every park in Brampton?) and convert them into “SAFE for our children, pets and wildlife litter-free zones” as defined above, that would be a first for Brampton. Almost everyone has the attitude that litter and littering are inevitable. We would be proving them all wrong and providing hope and inspiration for all Bramptonians. The goal is to form neighbourhood P.A.L. groups acting as custodians for parks all around Brampton. Every time we do that we are increasing litter awareness and helping to create a new social norm where people are inspired to take responsibility for litter and have the courage to take bold action to end littering. Here are some ideas that I have on how to achieve a ” safe for our children, litter-free zone”. Some may be good. Some may be bad. I would love to get feedback and hear other people’s ideas. Of course, the “Moorehead Park P.A.L.S” will come up with their own ideas and they will decide what they want to try and implement. First, we recruit as many neighbours as we can and build a strong community spirit of togetherness. To do this we do posts in local Facebook groups, Next Door etc. We might go door to door, or hand out flyers. How about a Facebook post? We are the Moorehead Park P.A.L.S; a super friendly and caring group of your friends and neighbours who have adopted Moorehead Park. We are dedicated to keeping our park beautiful, clean and safe for our children, pets, and out wildlife. We also like to have fun! If you live in our neighbourhood would you like to join us? We can go to the park and approach people in a very friendly way, with big smiles, and introduce ourselves as the neighbours who are keeping the park clean. We will explain that we intend to keep this park beautiful and safe for our children, pets and wildlife and stop the littering that occurs here. We will ask if they have any ideas on how to stop the littering? Who do they think is doing the littering etc.? What type of litter do they see the most? Would they like to join us? The questions are a way of involving them and making them litter aware. Most importantly, we will ask them if they see anyone littering to not confront them but please report it to us? We will offer them a card with our contact info. This will get the message out that their neighbours are serious about stopping the littering. P.A.L.S, or more specifically, the neighbours, are the new “sheriffs in town”! Word will spread. St. Agnes Elementary School backs onto the park and it is an EcoSchool so we will need to let them know what we are doing and ask for their support and help. It will be important to monitor the litter situation in the park on a regular basis. What types of litter are we picking up? Where does it come from? Who does the littering etc. ? This will help us determine the strategies that we use. One of our goals will be to show everyone how much fun it can be to be in our Moorehead Park P.A.L.S group. Besides, fun, litter picking excursions, we could have picnics, invite people to badminton contests, dance and exercise classes etc. all in the park. We can experiment with different kinds of homemade signage designed to attract attention and, recruit. Each time we do anything in the park, whether litter picking or just having fun we could put up signs promoting P.A.L. and inviting people to join. “Be a P.A.L.” “Please help us, your neighbours, make this area clean and safe for our children. Join us.” “We are your neighbours trying hard to make this area clean and safe for our children. Please don’t litter” I think signs with a touch of humour to show that we are a fun group could be effective. “Join us. We promise not to bite!” “If you don’t have anything against having a good time with the friendliest people on the planet, join us” “Thank you for keeping our park clean. It’s beautiful!” Just some off the top of my head ideas. Let’s have fun with them and get more creative than this! I think it would be great to make up a sign with the names and even pictures of all the Moorehead Park P.A.L.S and put it out occasionally. The main focus of P.A.L.’s anti-littering strategy is to MAKE IT PERSONAL. Anyone considering littering needs to know that we are their neighbours who are fed up with littering. We are the ones who are unselfish enough to sacrifice our time and trouble to try and make our City safe for our children and pets to play in and a safe haven for our precious wildlife. We could be the neighbours that live down the street from them, their co-workers, school mates, teachers of their children or even be their friends. We are not some anonymous City officials or authority that some people couldn’t care less about or delight in defying! We are your neighbours. If you litter we take it personally. We care about our children and their future. We care about our planet. We cherish our green spaces and amazing wildlife. We are not going to let anyone destroy our planet.

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