Parkland Resident Rallies for Cleaner Streets Amid Jurisdictional Jumble
Trash alongside Loxahatchee Road in Parkland. {Barbara Dawicke}

By Bryan Boggiano

A Parkland resident is growing increasingly frustrated as trash and litter pile up along Loxahatchee Road, prompting citizens to take action and triggering a contentious debate over responsibility.

Barbara Dawicke, a resident of the Watercrest neighborhood, highlights the stark contrast between her area and the rest of the city.

“Looking at how well maintained the rest of the city is, it feels like northwest Parkland is forgotten,” she said, adding that various individuals, including fishermen, construction workers, landscapers, and workers involved in digging electrical trenches, are treating Parkland as their personal trashcan.

Unable to ignore the issue, Dawicke and a friend embarked on her own clean-up mission, riding their bikes along the south side of Loxahatchee Road, filling multiple bags with litter. However, she emphasizes that the responsibility for maintaining cleanliness should fall on local officials, not citizens.

“Until then, residents should feel free to join in assisting with the trash pickup instead of simply thanking me as they drive by,” she suggested.

Dawicke’s previous attempts to reach out to the city commission have resulted in limited action, and claimed that Mayor Rich Walker sent city employees out who reported minimal trash presence.

The city’s communications director, Todd DeAngelis, clarified jurisdictional boundaries, noting that the city is responsible for a small portion of Loxahatchee Road east of Parkside Drive, while the western part is under county control. The land and canal banks on the north side of the roadway fall under the South Florida Water Management District.

Despite this, he assured that the city removes trash from the area every week, although it cannot enforce anti-littering measures on a county road.

Walker affirmed his commitment to addressing Dawicke’s concerns, mirroring a sentiment that Jason Schultz, the South Florida Water Management District’s public information officer, expressed.

Schultz acknowledged the importance of keeping canals and adjacent rights of way litter free and stated that while debris was found on private property during a recent inspection, any trash on the land they oversee was promptly cleaned up. However, he clarified that the water district does not have litter-control enforcement powers.

Parkland Resident Rallies for Cleaner Streets Amid Jurisdictional Jumble 1
Trash that Dawicke collected alongside Loxahatchee Road {Barbara Dawicke}

Brad Terrier, Assistant Director of Broward County Highway Construction and Engineering Division, shed light on the source of the trash along five miles of Loxahatchee Road. He attributed it to contractors for Florida Power and Light, Wilco, and Infratech, who have been working along the roadway under permits issued by his division.

This work, he pointed out, commenced without his division’s knowledge and resulted in several “unsightly and unsafe” conditions.

In response, Terrier said his division halted any new work, directed the contractors to focus on correcting the litter, trash, and unsafe conditions, and temporarily revoked work permits while increasing field inspection and patrolling. These efforts, according to Terrier, are ongoing.

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Author Profile

Bryan Boggiano
Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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