Every year, piles of abandoned jack-o-lanterns appear in Mount Douglas Park after Halloween and advocates are urging residents to be responsible when displaying their pumpkin art. (Photo courtesy Darrell Wick)

Every year, piles of abandoned jack-o-lanterns appear in Mount Douglas Park after Halloween and advocates are urging residents to be responsible when displaying their pumpkin art. (Photo courtesy Darrell Wick)

The great Saanich pumpkin dump: Advocates advise against abandoning carved gourds in park

Removal of rotten pumpkins costs up to $800 annually, district says

In what has become an annual tradition, putrid pumpkins leftover from Halloween have once again appeared in Mount Douglas Park and advocates are reminding residents to display their ghoulish gourds respectfully – meaning no trash and no smashing.

Over the past decade, Saanich residents have taken to dumping their jack-o-lanterns along the outskirts of the park, and the large orange fruits slowly begin to take over Churchill Drive and the beach parking lot after Oct. 31, explained Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society.

READ ALSO: Saanich retirement home welcomes students for pandemic-friendly Great Pumpkin walk

The long-standing tradition of displaying old jack-o-lanterns is “a fun little place-making activity that happens spontaneously every year and people enjoy looking at the pumpkins.” said district spokesperson Megan Catalano.

In early November, municipal staff come by to scoop the shriveled remnants of Halloween, she said. It usually takes a few hours to remove some 200-300 pumpkins from the park to be composted and the process costs up to $800, Catalano explained.

This fall, however, volunteers have noted far more pumpkins than in previous years and, unfortunately, they’ve been scattered throughout the park rather than just along the roads bordering the park, Wick said, adding that some were also smashed in the parking lots. This is “disappointing” to see because Saanich staff won’t be able to pick up the ones inside the park and pumpkin smashing should be left to Langford Fire Rescue, he explained.

READ ALSO: Langford Fire Rescue pulverize pumpkins for a cause

The park advocates acknowledge that displaying pumpkin art is something residents enjoy but Wick emphasized that there’s a difference between a dump and a municipal park.

“Instead of fighting it, let’s see if we can do it responsibly,” Wick said, noting that wax, candles, tins and anything else left inside the gourds does not belong in the park. He added that some pumpkins still contain seeds, which can result in unwanted plant growth and the gourds that have been painted or adorned with other decorations become litter.

Catalano emphasized that pumpkins can be disposed of in compost bins.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of SaanichHalloweenparks

Just Posted

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Vancouver Island MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Key ministries headed by veteran and rookie Island MLAs in Horgan’s new team

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

Christmas will look a bit different in Cumberland this year, not only because of COVID restrictions but due to changes from BC Hydro about hanging decorations on the poles. Record file photo
Snowflakes left out in the cold for Island town

Holiday season tradition a no-go for Cumberland’s power poles

Karl Ablack, chair of the Port Renfrew Recovery Task Force, says visitors should steer clear of the community after the second wave of COVID has begun to hit across the province. (Black Press Media file photo)
Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht First Nation asks visitors to steer clear of community again

Tight-knit community of 400 has yet to report single case of COVID

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from Nanaimo daycare

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has spoken out about some veterans losing their Dimished Earning Capacity income. (Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror photo)
Blaney pens letter to minister about veteran supports

Concerned about veterans losing some income

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

No face-offs until at least Dec. 8 after the BCHL shuts down pre-sesason play. (Citizen file)
BCHL cancels remainder of the pre-season

Island teams see their exhibition season cut short

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Most Read