UPDATED July 29th, 8:00 am – see below for details.
Mr. Mike Thome, Executive Director, Edmonton District Soccer Association
Dear Mr. Thome,
On Wednesday evening, July 27, I set out for one of my favorite activities in the City of Edmonton – a run in our River Valley. My preferred route takes me past the City fields on 84st between the Archdiocese and McNally High School. As I set out on my run, a senior men’s soccer game was just wrapping up on the southern-most field – a field known as Forest Heights #1. It was a lovely night, and it was wonderful to see people out enjoying the parkland and to see many family members watching the end of the game and enjoying the wonderful view of the City skyline. I doubt there is a better view from any soccer field in the City.
By the time I returned from my run, everyone had packed up and gone their separate ways, but unfortunately had not taken with them some of what they brought to the game. I stopped to pick up:
- over 40 individual pieces and balls of tape;
- three empty water bottles;
- multiple plastic wrappers from the tops of Gatorade/Powerade bottles;
- cardboard packaging from Umbro soccer socks;
- A can of Deep Woods Off (recommended by Bob Izumi, who I am sure would prefer it be disposed of appropriately).
All of this was in the bench areas, each of which is conveniently equipped with a garbage can.
I am sure you will agree that this is not an acceptable condition in which to leave a City field. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have had a similar experience with members of your organization. On several occasions last year, I had similar experiences and exchanged correspondence with your Association. While I was assured that the issue would be taken care of, clearly the message has not been received by your members. Wednesday night’s game, it appears, was played between two of your teams, Rampage and Alliance FC. I wonder who they expect will clean up after them?
I have posted this letter on my blog (http://www.andrewleach.ca), which I usually devote to energy and environmental issues. The purpose of making this letter public is, in part, to encourage other residents who enjoy the River Valley as I do to demand that users including but not limited to your Association respect our public lands. It would be my pleasure to post any reply to this letter detailing your policy for leaving City fields as you have found them, and the penalties to teams who do not follow these guidelines. I am sure there is significant demand for field time in the heart of our City – if your players won’t respect them, I would strongly encourage the City to make these fields available to someone who will.
UPDATE – July 28th: Please see initial response from EDSA Executive Director Mike Thome here.
UPDATE#2 – July 29th : A misunderstanding as to which field was involved led me to assume that Wednesday night’s game had been a scehduled event of the Edmonton Gentlemen’s Soccer League. You can see the response from their director, Douglas Williams, here.
UPDATE #3 – July 29th: I have sent a follow-up message to Mike Thome, who I expect will respond shortly.