Park is be­ing abused and ne­glected

Calgary Herald - - OPINION -

Re­cently, near Votiers Flats in Fish Creek Provin­cial Park, I spot­ted a fe­male bob­cat with two kits. Based on the size of the fe­male that crossed my path ahead, I ini­tially won­dered if it was a small cougar, as her shoul­ders ap­peared to come up to at least my knees but, thank­fully, no, there was no long tail vis­i­ble.

Though I have been in Fish Creek lit­er­ally hun­dreds of times, this was only the se­cond time I have seen a bob­cat. Other crea­tures seen in Fish Creek in­clude moose, coy­otes, mink, mer­gansers, ea­gles, great blue herons, great horned owls and pileated wood­peck­ers.

Un­for­tu­nately, paving the main path into the west half of Fish Creek Park a few years ago brought a mob of other crea­tures — dis­cour­te­ous boy-rac­ers in span­dex tights cov­ered in fake spon­sor de­cals who race from one end of the park to the other, and now bik­ers pack­ing boom-box back­packs — all obliv­i­ous to pedes­tri­ans and wildlife.

And lately, the amount of dog ex­cre­ment left, bagged and un­bagged, on the path for oth­ers to clean up has reached epic pro­por­tions.

Con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cers seem all but ab­sent to con­serve, and to en­force the re­spect­ful use of, the park.

How sad that Fish Creek Provin­cial Park, the sec­ond­largest ur­ban park in Canada, with such po­ten­tial to pro­vide en­joy­ment of na­ture, is so ne­glected by those in charge and is dis­abused by so many.

Mike Pri­aro, Cal­gary

MIKE DREW

Ev­ery­one, from jog­gers down to the crea­tures that in­habit Fish Creek Provin­cial Park — in­clud­ing bob­cats, mink and great blue herons — should be able to en­joy the se­cond largest ur­ban park in Canada, writes Mike Pri­aro.

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