Saving Glassy Beach

Rudy Norman
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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.”

Geographic location: Springdale, Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • Cindy Wellman
    August 29, 2014 - 07:18

    Anyone who has visited Glassy Beach knows it is "Amazingly Beautiful"! If (for whatever reasons) everyone removes items from there, eventually, it will no only exist... think before taking and perhaps taking a Photo would be the thing to do... Just my opinion I have only been down a couple of times to visit Glassy Beach a few years ago. Mrs. Warr is right. IF everyone who went there to visit took "Shopping Bags" full, or took some in their boat etc... there would be no "Glassy Beach"! It would be however "Where once there was a Glassy Beach, now it resides with numerous individuals, in their homes, around their neck etc"!! A Photo on your wall would be as beautiful as a piece of glass or a rock on your shelf!!!!

  • June bartlett
    August 23, 2014 - 19:28

    I thank Anne War, Davis Hull and the Town of Springdale for trying to save what's left of a very dear place to me..Glassy Beach. I am one of many who grew up down east end of Springdale and spent many hours on that beautiful beach. My family and I use to spend so much time there that i think we thought we owned it :) we loved it and still do. I was out to Springdale last month visiting my family and of course just had to go down to glassy beach. Saddened I looked all around the beach and was shocked at what little glass was left. I really hope and pray that people will return the glass and stop taking what's left. Please if someone is reading this message and you have taken a bucket or bag of glass from this beach please bring it back. You can make a difference. Thank you. June Bartlett.

  • Ruth Bartlett Prowse
    August 23, 2014 - 16:21

    I agree with Mrs. Warr 100%! Please leave the glass in Glassy Beach so that others can see the beauty of it for years to come. I am formally from Springdale ,NL I grew up down in the east end of Springdale. I have never been down to Glassy Beach, but i'm sure that I will be visiting when I go out again. Please KEEP THE GLASS IN GLASSY BEACH! Thank you....:)