The Polson Avengers continue their mission to make Polson Park safer.
The volunteer group has been cleaning-up discarded needles and garbage, while trying to create a safer atmosphere, since forming last month.
Organizer Kai Eli says their members have doubled to 20, and they also have other people calling.
“We got various groups of people around Vernon who want to start up their own little branches in different areas around town. We got people wanting to volunteer throughout Vernon and not just the park, which is super awesome.”
Pictured: Kai Eli
Eli says their efforts get a mixed reaction from the drug users.
“We get some of them that are like, you know, (saying) we’re not all bad, we clean up after ourselves. And then the other ones are rude or they don’t even talk or they just sit and watch. They go in right after we’ve been in there and start using and leave stuff behind.”
Eli says they are starting to get a positive response from families using the park, now that they’re better known.
“My “Friends Requests” are going off like crazy on Facebook, and kids really appreciate it. So, I’m hoping that our next step once we get our (high visibility) shirts is to be that big buddy and hang out with kids and make sure they don’t veer off the wrong way.”
Eli says they try to spend at least a couple hours in the park each day, but they’re also getting calls about other areas.
“I also went down to the Performing Arts Centre and did a check, and found some needles. I didn’t get to do the whole Rec Centre there, because it was eight o’clock at night by that time. I’ve been going hard trying to get all these areas.”
Eli says the Wishing Well and the Boardwalk are areas of Polson Park where they’ve been finding the most needles.