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.”
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.”
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.
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.