Old Ottawa South Community Association

Helping hands Juliana and Miranda Ayson.
Helping hands Juliana and Miranda Ayson. Photo by Jean-Benoit Lanca.

Secret Guardians of Windsor Park

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Day and night, 365 days a year, Windsor Park is cared for by incessant secret guardians. The Windsor Park dog walkers seem innocent enough, with their cute pooches and their light banter, but at the heart of every dog walker is a community park guardian.

The Windsor Pups members are more than just a dog walking group. For decades they have been not only picking up after their dogs, but also giving back to the community in various ways. Ever since its inception in 1994, they have been keeping an eye out for the park, with activities like the Spring Park Cleanup, held this past Saturday, May 14th. This year, over 30 members of the community joined to pick up branches, sticks, rocks and garbage. The group managed to gather over 25 bags of organic debris, garbage and recyclables.

The annual park cleanup is important, but the Windsor pups impact extends much further. I would say that dog walkers are the single most frequent park users. They visit the park 365 days a year and often more than once a day. Every day, before children are in the park, the Windsor pup members have already scanned the park several times over, often picking up broken glass, bottles, cans and garbage. As respected members, parents and pooches of the community, their nightly walks in the park put out more fires and disperse lingering groups than any bylaw officers. These community members are the helping hands, eyes, ears and snouts of the park.

Many thanks go out to the following volunteers who helped clean up the park on Saturday: Brian Tansey, Julie, Sammy, Max, and Jean Lanca, Vickie and Ian Campbell, Jane Sminiski, Zainab Moghal, Zahra Duxbury, Dusan Hoferek, Luc and Eric Henry, Juliana and Miranda Ayson, Jole Kebe, Bernie Zeisig, Carolyn Inch, John Armitage, Cameron Fischer, Michael Hamm, Mike, Andrea, Gillian and Penny Stewart, Catherine Delaney, Kathy Stewart, Larry and Kara McCloskey, Kim Ferguson and Tom Fouriezos, and many more who chose to remain anonymous. We could not have done it without you. See you all around the park!

Jean-Benoit Lanca is the Windsor Pups Facebook group administrator.

Featured in the June 2022 OSCAR.

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