BELFAST, Maine — Friends of Belfast Parks will hold its third annual April Stools Day from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 4.
Local dog owners and other participants will spend the morning cleaning up dog waste from the city’s waterfront. Volunteers are invited to gather at the gazebo at Steamboat Landing at 10 a.m.
Participants will be provided with gloves, scoops and bags suitable for picking up dog waste left over from the winter months in the parks and streets on the waterfront.
Debbie Hockensmith, event coordinator, said the goal of April Stools Day was not only to clean up the public areas, but also to draw attention to problems created by dog owners who fail to pick up after their dogs as required by law.
Dog feces carries parasites and bacteria, attracts vermin and flies, detracts from the appearance of streets and green spaces, and contaminates bay waters, she said.
“And we all know how totally disgusting dog poop is when stuck to the bottom of a shoe. Picking up after one’s dog is a hallmark of responsible pet ownership,” said Hockensmith.
According to Carol Good, president of Friends of Belfast Parks, while most dog owners abide by the dog waste ordinance and pick up after their pets, a number of irresponsible owners repeatedly leave their dogs’ waste for others to clean up. Although there is an ordinance that carries penalties for failing to pick up, the city has not been inclined to issue citations for violations in the past.
In the days leading up to April Stools Day, small pennants reading “Who Left This” will be placed in piles of dog feces found in public places. Friends of Belfast Parks will continue to distribute its “Picking Up Where Your Dog Left Off” educational pamphlet to dog owners who license their dogs in the city, and will continue to advocate for enforcement of the dog waste ordinance.
For more information about April Stools Day in Belfast, visit the Friends of Belfast Parks Web site at friendsofbelfastparks.org or call Hockensmith at 338-1704.