April 13, 2021
With the arrival of spring weather and more residents using City parks, it’s important that everyone follow park etiquette. The City of Mississauga is reminding all park users to respect City parks, trails, natural areas, sports fields and other commonly used spaces. Users should follow the rules posted on signs and the City’s Parks By-law to help make these spaces safe and enjoyable for all. Peel Public Health guidelines should also be followed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s important that residents continue to focus on their well-being by doing things like visiting our parks and green spaces, exercising and staying healthy while following current public health measures,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie “My hope is that residents understand how valuable these resources are and treat them with care so we can all continue to use them for many years to come.”
The City’s Parks Operations section maintains 3,162 hectares (7,812 acres) of parkland—including more than 500 parks, 373 sports fields, over 300km of trails, 265 play sites, 12 cemeteries and two marinas.
“Park rules and regulations are in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment for all users. Our staff work very hard to maintain the parks but we rely on residents to follow and respect the rules to ensure the safety and enjoyment for all users for years to come,” said Jodi Robillos, Director, Parks, Forestry and Environment. “Parks are available to everyone and we need to respect these spaces by not littering and not vandalizing or destroying park amenities. Please also be considerate and kind to Parks staff. Lastly, if you arrive at a park, maintain proper physical distancing and if that park is busy, consider visiting a different one.”
In 2021, there continues to be a high trend of illegal dumping incidents in City parks. There has been a 662 per cent increase in illegal dumping in 2021 when compared to 2019.
Robillos added, “In addition to not littering or dumping household waste in our parks, we also ask residents to be respectful of the environment. This includes showing consideration to our plants and trees by resisting the urge to pick flowers or tree bark, trample on plants, collecting rocks from the shoreline or feeding the wild animals.”
When visiting a park, consider the following etiquette:
- Dispose trash properly in the waste or recycling bin
- BBQ in designated areas only and dispose of coals properly
- Pick up after dogs and keep dogs leashed
- Respect parks by not vandalizing amenities, leaving plants and trees alone and not feeding wildlife
- Be courteous to Parks staff
- Stay on the trails
- Only park in permitted areas at parks
For more information about the City’s parks and natural areas, visit mississauga.ca/parks.
Dispose trash properly
- Throw garbage, recycling, disposable masks and gloves in the appropriate bins – black bin for garbage, blue bin for recycling. If the bin is full, please take your waste home with you.
- Do not dump household waste such as kitchen waste, construction materials or furniture in the parks. It’s illegal to dump garbage at City facilities and parks. Avoid a $365 fine by following proper waste collection procedures.
- Do not drain water from your pool or hot tub into parks.
- If you encounter illegally-dumped waste, or full waste bins, report it online or call 311 or (905) 615-4311 outside city limits.
Be a responsible pet owner
- Pick up after dogs and place dog waste in the garbage container or the green in-ground dog waste container if your local park has one.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash (no more than six feet) unless in a designated leash-free zone.
- Children under 12 years of age are not allowed to enter leash-free zones.
Respect parks, environment, wildlife and staff
- Respect park property by not vandalizing park amenities including park benches, playgrounds or picnic tables. Report graffiti online or call 311 or (905) 615-4311 if outside city limits.
- Leave wildlife alone by not trampling on gardens, stealing plants or flowers from parks, picking tree bark or pruning trees or shrubs at the parks.
- Do not feed wildlife including ducks, geese, other birds, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, deer and more. It is not allowed under the Animal Care and Control By-law and you can be fined. Feeding wildlife can disrupt their natural foraging behaviours and make them sick and dependant on humans.
- Be courteous to Parks staff who are working hard to maintain parks by cutting grass, maintaining sports fields and flower beds, collecting garbage and repairing areas within parks, including benches and playground equipment.
Follow park rules, by-laws and regulations
- Stay on the trails and don’t make your own path through wooded areas ensuring wildlife habitats and natural environments are kept intact.
- Practise proper hand hygiene etiquette when using the park washroom.
- Do not use motorized vehicles (e.g. electric bike, electric scooter, go-kart) or remote controlled devices (rockets, drones, watercraft) at City parks without a permit.
- Do not smoke, vape or drink alcohol at City parks.
- Only park in permitted areas within parks or adjacent neighbourhoods. Cars parked illegally can impact neighbourhood safety and access for emergency service vehicles. If the parking lot is full, consider exploring one of the other parks in Mississauga.