The quality of life in any community is reflected by its parks. Here in Tom Green County, we have many open park spaces that can make it enjoyable to get away from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy peace.

If you've been to Harper Park in Water Valley, Foster Park in Dove Creek, or Pugh Park in Cristoval, you might have noticed that the fresh smell of the outdoors isn't the only aroma floating around. If the wind is just right, there's the odor of rotten garbage.

It isn't hard to see where it's coming from.

This isn't ordinary trash from spending a leisurely day in the park.  This is someone's household garbage. Instead of enjoying our parks, they're using them to dump their refuse.

I wonder how these dumpers would feel if someone started dumping garbage in their yard or using their front porch as a toilet.  When people do this in our parks, that is precisely what it is like.

It is so bad that Tom Green County Commissioners have decided to cancel trash service with Texas Disposal System in our county parks. The cancellation will save the county $1200 a month.

Smaller trash cans will remain.

Unauthorized dumping carries the same penalties in Texas as illegally dumping the same amount of solid waste, according to Texas Penal Code 31.04.  Too bad we can't catch the people responsible for this trashy behavior. I mean, someone dumped an old sofa. Cmon.

All of this disturbs me. I am not sure there's anything we can do to prevent people from trashing our county parks. I'm sure our local officials would be open to ideas. It would be great if just one of the people responsible could be hauled before authorities and fined, with local television and newspaper cameras as a witness.

We all deserve to know who's crapping us.

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