Summer has officially arrived. With the warm weather and park amenities slowly reopening, it’s important that we continue to work together to protect Mississauga’s green spaces and parks beautiful. Parks are shared community spaces, so we need to do our part and be courteous and respectful when using them.
Here are a few ways your actions can help keep parks and trails enjoyable for everyone.
Throw your trash out
Litter doesn’t belong on the ground. Throw your garbage, dog waste, recycling, disposable masks and gloves in the appropriate bins – black bin for waste, blue bin for recycling. You can put your dog waste in the waste container or the green dog waste container if your local park has one. If the bin is full, please take it with you to throw out at home.
Illegal dumping has spiked in Mississauga especially in the parks with the onset of COVID-19. Please don’t dump household waste, bicycles, construction materials or furniture in the parks. If you encounter illegally-dumped waste, or full waste bins, report it to 311 or call 905-615-4311 outside city limits.
Leave wildlife and nature alone
It might be tempting to feed the wild animals at the park like the ducks, squirrels or chipmunks; however, doing this can disrupt their natural foraging behaviors and make them sick. Feeding wild animals can also make them dependant on humans and it can potentially make them more aggressive towards humans. It’s best to leave wildlife alone, especially since feeding wildlife is prohibited under the Animal Care and Control By-law.
Additionally, you can respect your environment including plants or trees in the park by not picking flowers from the plants or bark from the trees.
Stay on the trails and keep your furry friends leashed
If you’re at a park, stay on the trails and don’t make your own path through the wooded areas. This keeps you safe from wildlife and keeps wildlife habitats and natural environments intact.
Remember, dogs must be kept on leashes while at the park or on a trail unless you’re in a leash-free zone. Mississauga has eight leash-free zones where your four-legged friends can roam free. It’s important that you always pick up after your dog.
Follow COVID-19 safety guidelines in parks
If you visit one of Mississauga’s parks, remember to maintain physical distance from others not in your group. It’s also important to respect all park amenity closures that are still in place, which includes playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment.
For more information about the City of Mississauga’s parks, visit Mississauga.ca/parks.
Mississauga residents can report coyote sightings with an interactive map and online reporting system. The map – created by the City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) team and powered by ESRI – will allow residents to conveniently report coyote sightings and for Mississauga Animal Services to better track coyote reports. This new system should not be used for immediate reports about sick/injured coyotes or animals posing a risk to the public.
The new system will help Animal Services target areas for patrols and community outreach and education about animal-related concerns. This includes awareness on how to keep families and pets safe, and investigating concerns about wildlife feeding.
Map users can view all confirmed coyote sightings as dots on the map. The map can also be filtered by report types (e.g., regular sightings, feeding, sick/mange) and sightings by year (2019 and 2020) and month.
To report a coyote sighting online, users can access the reporting form through the map. From there, they can log their sighting by including the location, date, time and type (i.e., observed, feeding, mange).
Residents can still continue to report coyote sightings (including sick/injured and other animals posing a risk to the public) by calling 311 or Animal Services dispatch at 905-615-3000.
Coyotes, like any urban wildlife in Mississauga, are common in communities. Animal Services would like to remind residents that coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem, are normally shy and will avoid human contact.
Coyote safety tips:
· Do not feed coyotes (including any other wildlife) as it is prohibited under theAnimal Care and Control By-law and is often linked to bold behaviour.
· Supervise pets when outdoors (including backyards) and keep them on a six-foot leash.
· Keep cats indoors.
· If you encounter a coyote – stay calm, don’t turn your back, stand tall and make loud noises and startling movements.
For more information about Mississauga Animal Services including city wildlife, visitmississauga.ca/animalservices.