By Lyonel Doherty
A local scouting group and mother nature have been dealt a low blow. But thankfully, someone was watching.
The 1st Oliver Scouts recently learned that two people drove into Camp Secrest and dumped a load of household garbage, including some bio-hazardous waste, on the property.
The Scouts use this area for educational purposes, and volunteers work diligently to maintain it.
“It raises my ire,” said Scout leader and caretaker Mike Field.
He explained that a witness observed two men in a cube van pull into the site off Willowbrook Road on November 3. They had a pile of garbage on an old rug inside the van, and simply tied one end of the rug to a tree and drove forward, resulting in the rug being pulled out of the vehicle and onto the ground.
Field said the garbage contained hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia.
During the incident, two Scouting flag poles were damaged beyond repair, and a tree was cut down for its wood. Some pre-cut wood was also stolen, Field noted.
The witness subsequently reported the act to the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) program.
Field said the dumping is particularly troubling when volunteers work hard to maintain the site. He noted the type of garbage that was dumped is expensive to remove due to the bio-hazardous contents.
“The damage may not sound like a lot, but it is to us,” Field said.
The caretaker pointed out the site is not only enjoyed by the youth, it is also a favourite spot for hikers and nature lovers, who are welcome there.
Field said any type of mischief or illegal dumping is not acceptable and he urges people to be responsible with their household waste.
The conservation office is currently investigating the incident and may issue violation tickets (fines) to the perpetrators.
Anyone can report poachers or polluters by calling RAPP at 1-877-952-7277.