Trees, weeds and garbage

Har­bour Grace woman wants town cleaned up


Pauline Yet­man of Har­bour Grace says she is sad­dened by the lack of pride, clean­li­ness and up keep of her home­town. Yet­man who moved back to Har­bour Grace from Mis­sis­sauga On­tario last July where she resided for the past 22 years, wants the town cleaned up.

“ When I first moved here I was shocked at the con­di­tion of the town. It’s not the Har­bour Grace that I re­mem­ber as a child,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Yet­man trees, weeds and garbage have taken over ar­eas of the his­toric town.

“It makes me emo­tional to even talk about it,” she says. “I love his­tory and Har­bour Grace has so much of it. It’s one of the old­est towns in Con­cep­tion Bay and on the Avalon Penin­sula and should be kept up like Bri­gus or Cupids are. I feel in my heart that the towns peo­ple has no pride or re­spect for where they live and I’m heart­bro­ken by what I see.”

Yet­man says one of the most no­tice­ably run­down ar­eas in town is the SW Moore Memo­rial Park on Wa­ter Street.

“The three wa­ter foun­tains don’t work and are in ter­ri­ble shape, the benches are all over­grown by trees and bushes and there’s garbage thrown all around,” she said. “ When I first saw it I was blown away be­cause that’s not how it looked when I was a child. I spent hun­dreds of hours there play­ing. It was very dif­fer­ent then.”

Yet­man took her con­cerns on the park to the town coun­cil.

“ They said they aren’t re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing it. That it’s now owned by a busi­ness in the area and is their re­spon­si­bil­ity.” Yet­man doesn’t see it quite that way. “ The sign say­ing the park is op­er­ated by the town of Har­bour Grace is still up, there­fore in my eyes they have some re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain it. If they are not re­spon­si­ble to clean it up then they should con­tact the peo­ple who are and make sure they do it.”

The garbage and dis­carded pieces of rusted metal and equip­ment that is strewn around the sides of the road, in the beaches and tossed be­hind build­ings is also an eye­sore.

Yet­man feels the his­tory of the town isn’t be­ing cel­e­brated or show­cased to the de­gree it could be.

“I don’t think any­one re­al­izes how lucky they are to live on such a beau­ti­ful is­land,” she says re­fer­ring to New­found­land. “ We have a town that is laid out per­fect. It has his­tory on ev­ery cor­ner, ev­ery street, but coun­cil has al­most ev­ery­thing the town rep­re­sents jammed on a piece of land in the cor­ner of River­head. Re­fer­ring to the Kear­ney Memo­rial Park as a junk­yard she adds: “ We have a plane that don’t fly, a woman that we can’t find and a board­walk that leads to the boat that don’t float. So much more could be done with the area. Coun­cil is try­ing to make that area the cen­tre of town, but it is not be­ing kept up. There is more his­tory here then just what is on that cor­ner, but that’s the only thing that is some­what cared for, the only thing a tourist can see and the only thing that is seen as be­ing his­toric or val­ued in Har­bour Grace. It’s sad and un­true.” Mon­key see, mon­key do Yet­man ac­knowl­edges some main­te­nance work has been done in the town, but feels it should be done ear­lier in the year.

“Last year the board walk was painted around the end of Au­gust or the beginning of Septem­ber, but that’s too late. The tourist sea­son starts around May and it should be done be­fore then.”

She would also like to see flags fly­ing in the town.

“Our flag poles shouldn’t be empty like they are, the flags should fly­ing. It’s a sign of pride and pa­tri­o­tism. We should be do­ing what­ever we can to make our town more at­trac­tive.

Yet­man says the re­spon­si­bil­ity for clean­ing up and beau­ti­fy­ing the town doesn’t just rest with coun­cil.

“I’m not say­ing it is all coun­cil’s fault and I’m not say­ing it is all the res­i­dents’ fault,” she says. “It’s a bit of mon­key see mon­key do. It seems for years coun­cil has not been mak­ing the ef­fort to keep the town tidy and it has re­sulted in res­i­dents giv­ing up try­ing and turn­ing a blind eye to the sham­bles that’s around them. There are way too many run down build­ings and garbage and scrap tossed be­hind busi­nesses and homes. It’s dis­grace­ful that this town has come to this. Grass and weeds have taken over side­walks and trees have grown so high that we can no longer see the ocean or streets. Ev­ery­thing has been al­lowed to grow wild be­cause no one cares about the ap­pear­ance of the town.”

Face­book group

The state of the town led Yet­man to set up the Face­book so­cial net­work group “Speak loud and let your voice be heard in Har­bour Grace.”

“I’m get­ting a lot of sup­port on Face­book,” she says. “Many other peo­ple share my con­cerns and views and are post­ing their com­ments. They want to do what they can to clean up the town.”

How­ever she re­al­izes not every­one shares her view.

“ Some peo­ple feel I’m com­ing home from the main­land with big city ideas and crit­i­cis­ing how the town looks, but I’m not. I’m looking at the town with fresh eyes,” she says. “All I want is a clean town, a town that is proud of their his­tory and a town that tourists and chil­dren can en­joy. I want a town that makes peo­ple want to move here and raise their chil­dren. I care about Har­bour Grace and so do many other peo­ple. If speak­ing out is what it takes to open peo­ple’s eyes to the dirt that is around them, so be it.”

Yet­man has writ­ten a let­ter ex­press­ing her con­cerns to mem­bers of the Har­bour Grace town coun­cil and is hop­ing to make a pre­sen­ta­tion at a coun­cil meet­ing early this week.

The pre­sen­ta­tion will in­clude a list of sug­ges­tions on how to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.

“All I’m ask­ing is that coun­cil step up to the plate and show they care and that we can all work to­gether to im­prove our town and demon­strate just how proud we re­ally are of liv­ing here,” she says. “A few garbage bags, weed eaters, saws, lawn mow­ers, paint and scrap re­moval trucks could make a hell of a dif­fer­ence in this town. We could be a boom­ing clean town ready for tourists, but in­stead peo­ple are hang­ing their heads in shame. I love my town very much. It’s full of beau­ti­ful mem­o­ries and his­tory. If I didn’t care I wouldn’t be speak­ing up.”

Photo cour­tesy of Pauline Yet­man

DIRTY BEACH - Pauline Yet­man of Har­bour Grace says she is sad­dened by the lack of pride, clean­li­ness and up keep of her home­town. Yet­man wants mem­bers of the town coun­cil to en­sure garbage like this is cleaned up.

Photo cour­tesy of Pauline Yet­man

SCRAP PILE - This scrap heap, lo­cated near busi­nesses and the town coun­cil of­fice in Har­bour Grace, is one of the rea­sons why res­i­dent Pauline Yet­man feels not enough is be­ing done to clean and main­tain the town.

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