Make Polson Park Safe Again
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"Polson Park is located near the heart of Vernon, adjacent to Highway 97 and Highway 6. The park was established in 1908 when Samuel Polson donated a large parcel of land to the city. Located in the park is the Lawn Bowling Club, the Interior Space and Science Centre, the Arts Council and Vernon Heritage Hall." -- www.vernon.ca
Polson Park is 13.5 hectares large. A good 40% of that is tennis courts, the biggest children's playground around, a running track, a water spray park, a duck pond, gazebos, an exercise machine area, a skate park. It is our signature public location. The land hosts several festivals and movie nights, especially during the summer months.
So why is it that we are allowing 30 or so tents to shelter transients along the boardwalk? It seems that everyday, if somebody isn't calling 911 because of a shooting or an overdose, there's people getting high in the toilet stalls central to the family-oriented area of the park.
People are feeling less and less safe about bringing their children there. We're just waiting for the inevitable at this point; when a toddler gets pricked with a discarded needle running to the swings.
We understand that we have to keep in mind that the BC Supreme Court has ruled it a human right to camp in a public park if no shelter space exists, & that none exists.
If local law enforcement doesn't have the manpower to enforce the tear down from 9am-9pm bylaw because expired parking meter tickets bring the revenue, then I'd suggest perhaps one rcmp-assisted and homeless shelter bus sweep to transport them all north of London Drugs.
We understand that people make life choices or come upon unfortunate circumstances that result in their inability to house themselves. We comprehend that it's favourable for both the general public & the betterment of the lives of those at rock bottom that they are in tents, obtaining necessities & belongings as opposed to being on our benches and dark corners downtown.
But for the sake of the upcoming generation, either fence off the boardwalk back 1/3, or place them in an area that isn't making the signature park a safety issue for the children.
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