Sunday, July 8, 2007

Mt. Pleasant School's New Sprinkler System

Just curious about why a sprinkler system was being installed this week in the field on the east side of Mt. Pleasant Elementary School (2300 Guelph St.). In this rainy climate, the grass stays green anyway, and we've heard so much about the schools being strapped for funding. Community members do play soccer there (check out Issa and his teammates there on Wednesday evenings), so maybe the grass needs extra attention...?

But maybe, aha! There's an ulterior motive for the sprinkler system that has nothing to do with green and more to do with brown. An article last April in the Vancouver Courier is all about the doggie poopoo problem children have encountered in that field. Because the yard is largely fenced, it's an enticing and pretty safe place to take doggies for a run, and some days you see an awful lot of dogs and their owners gathered there. On Friday, there was even a class going on in the northeast corner of the schoolyard, teaching manners to dogs that get violent with other dogs.

According to the article - and I can tell you from observation that it's true - some dog owners don't scoop their dogs' poop, or do so incompletely, leaving a residue for elementary kids to slide in.

In some cities, like New York, you see signs that say "curb your dog." That means that the place for your dog to take a poop is in the street, just alongside the curb. Then it's easy to pick up - you don't have to take the grass with it - and it's possible for streetcleaning machines (or rushing rainwater) to wash up. I never see anybody curbing their dog in Vancouver, and we don't have any signs to that effect. But this might be a good thing to start teaching our dogs until a better alternative is devised.

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