Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
PUP Project

The Reader's Forum
Journal Inquirer
April 30, 2007

Why should pet owners pick up their pet's feces on the trail? There are many obvious answers including, but not limited to: It's being a good neighbor, it's the law; it protects the environment; and it eliminates the potential visual, aromatic, and physical contact with this bodily byproduct.

As a society we have put little emphasis on educating our population on the inconvenience and even danger to our environment and ourselves of pet waste. Admit it, even if you have started to think about this subject, the negative thoughts that immediately come to mind have caused you to move on.

The Vernon Greenways Volunteers will staff informational tables about our PUP Project (Pick Up after your Pets) at three locations: Valley Falls Park (Saturday, May 5, noon to 4 p.m. ), Church Street (Saturday, May 12, noon to 4 p.m. ), and Dart Hill South Park (Thursday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ) to provide educational input. In addition we will install temporary signs for a one-week period at selected trail locations to reach those we did not contact with our informational tables.

This is not our first foray into this arena. In 2006 we installed pet stations at Valley Falls and Church Street. What is a pet station? A pet station is composed of a biodegradable pet waste bag dispenser, free waste bags, instructions on usage, and a receptacle for deposit of the full bags. We are expanding our participation by providing a second pet station at Valley Falls Park and a new pet station at Dart Hill South Park. VGV trail managers are responsible for keeping the supply of bags full and the receptacle empty.

Please help us improve our trail system by learning why picking up your pet's waste is important to all and then putting that knowledge into action.

Don Bellingham

The writer is a member of the Vernon Greenways Volunteers.