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Who cares about two months of entrail-dumping, chicken beheadings, blood-letting and furniture abandonment in the Prospect Park lake — the federal government just gave the park an award for cleanliness!
The top environmental agency in the country doled out an “environmental quality award” to Prospect Park last month — and many parkgoers are as stunned as the day they first laid eyes on that nasty pile of intestines on the edge of the lake.
“It makes me kind of angry,” said Deanna Zandt, who visits the park daily with her rat terrier, Izzy Louise. “The chicken heads, a TV set [in the lake], the swan that died — it seems really silly they got an award.
“Every time there is a nice day in the park, you can guarantee there will be trash everywhere. I can’t let my dog off the leash [during off-leash hours] because she’ll eat everything in sight!”
A spokeswoman for the EPA — clearly not one of our readers — was unaware of the many gross-outs that recently occurred at Prospect Park, and quickly pointed out that the praise accompanying the award did not specifically address the lake.
“The things that you described— not only am I not aware of it, but that type of thing happens,” said Caroline Newton, an EPA spokeswoman. “I’m assuming they weren’t responsible for it — but that was not related to the award.”
The award specifically lauded the park’s tree-care team, as well as the Audubon Center, which has become a major attraction for families.
A spokesman for Prospect Park, Eugene Patron, said that the award was further proof that the park was healthy — despite numerous claims to the contrary.
“The wildlife is healthy — despite the incidents,” said a confident Patron. “When looking at the park holistically, there is no indication that there is anything wrong with the ecosystem.”
But there is little doubt that a spotlight has been on the fowl conditions in the park like never before. Last month, The Brooklyn Paper broke the story on the “Butcher of Prospect Park,” who left behind blood, animal intestines, and chicken heads along the southwestern side of the lake.
At the same time, at least three swaths of reeds were burnt along the edge of the lake in an apparent arson.
The unsettling episodes culminated in a wave of animal deaths, including the demise of John Boy, one of the park’s beloved celebrity swans.
Things got so bad that the city was called in to test the lake. Scientists said they found no evidence of contamination — though park critics remained suspicious of a cover-up.
But conspiracy theories aside, Zandt — who runs a Web site of pictures of piles of trash in the park — said that the park’s legitimate achievements should not obscure issues surrounding general upkeep of the park.
“I don’t want to begrudge the award, their tree care is great — but not at the expense of regular maintenance!”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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