Published on August 21, 2014
The ‘genie in a bottle’ photo taken on Glassy Beach in Springdale is an example of the special place it’s become for many. With beach glass so rare, though, many are destroying the Springdale attraction in the name of personal gain. Now, some have stepped up to try and stop that destruction, and save Glassy Beach.
Published on August 21, 2014
Davis Hall (left) is the writer on the poem overlayed on a photo by Ann Warr (right). Both have come together to present signage to Mayor Harvey Tizzard (centre) which will encourage visitors of Glassy Beach not to take the glass home when they leave.
A former teacher is taking on a campaign to save a popular Springdale tourist and visitor destination, which she fears will be gone if action isn’t taken.
Anne Warr taught in Springdale and King’s Point for several years before filling out the last few years of her career in Grand Falls-Windsor, where she’s from and currently resides.
For her, though, the time she spent in Springdale is marked by the community and attractions she had around her while she was there – including a well-known Glassy Beach.
“When I was there, and when I was raising our children there, we knew about Glassy Beach, but it was almost like a well-kept secret,” she said. “It wasn’t as popular as it is today.”
Glassy Beach is the site of a former landfill in Springdale, located near the water before the days of environmental education and safety. The site has been closed now for decades, and the materials of the dump have decomposed back into the earth like they were supposed to. However the remnants of an age when glass was the norm for most containers is still evident.
The water on the beach and the years of nature’s elements have made the area a landscape of smooth, glimmering shards which litter the shoreline and make for a wonderful attraction for those who visit.
Sea glass is often a rare and treasured item, and in some places has a high-priced market value among crafts people. That’s one of the big reasons, says Warr, that many who stop by glassy beach leave with their fair share of souvenirs.
“Word is getting around and the secret is out about the beach,” she said. “So people go there to visit, and to see it, and most of them take some of the glass with them when they go.”
Warr says one or two pieces of remnants as a memento for the visit is fine, but the problem is surrounding people who go overboard on the collection, she said.
“People go there and come out with shopping bags full, and go around the beach picking up certain pieces,” she said. “We’ve heard reports of people coming in and filling up the bottoms of their boat, or looking for certain colours of glass, probably for an art project or something.”
It’s situations like that, which cause concern for Warr and others with her.
She approached the Town of Springdale, which agreed with her assessment of the situation and agreed to help with some of her ideas.
“For now, we have some signs done up to inform people that the glass isn’t to be taken from the beach,” she said.
The signs, which contain a photo from Warr of her "genie in a bottle" on Glassy Beach, and a poem from local poet Davis Hall, will be placed on and near the beach for visitors to see when they arrive.
In the future, should the issue persist, Warr suggested the town install surveillance cameras. She also wants to get the word out to those who have taken glass to please help restore what’s gone.
“If people have visited and have taken any of the glass, I think they should just return it and put it back where it should be,” she said. “It’s a beautiful sight here for the town, but if we don’t take care of it, someday it won’t be there anymore.”