“Sandpoint Park is a beautiful park located right on the Indian River Lagoon. It’s also the only city park that allows dogs. It’s the perfect place to educate pet owners about protecting our water resources by encouraging them to pick up after their dogs,” explained Maureen Phillips, Titusville’s Water Conservation & Public Outreach Manager. According to Ms. Phillips, installing the new doggie waste stations complete with doggie bags and waste receptacles builds upon the Bag It! Trash It! Program that was initiated in September of 2008.
The Bag It! Trash It! Program has provided Titusville pet owners with almost 1,000 free waste disposal bags in convenient, refillable containers that can be attached to a leash. As part of the Conservation and Stormwater Utility outreach effort, the main objective of the Bag It! Trash It! Program is to reduce the amount of dog fecal matter being washed into Titusville’s stormwater system, and thus out to local waterways, especially the Indian River Lagoon. “In the north Brevard area alone, we have over 6,000 licensed dogs. If everyone picked up after their pet, we could significantly reduce the amount of bacteria reaching the lagoon,” said Phillips.
Featured on the Gotta Go? signs is Winston, Phillips’ golden retriever. Winston who is known as Winston the Water Dog has been featured in several conservation campaigns. “Whether we use his picture or take him to an event, Winston always brings attention to the conservation message,” added Raynetta Curry Grant Titusville Water Resources Director. “He is a wonderful ambassador for our conservation program and the city.”
The popularity of both Winston and his conservation message has recently reached beyond the Brevard County border and into Indian River County. As part of Indian River County’s educational efforts to protect the local waterways, Gotta Go signs will be posted in the Captain Forster Hammock Preserve, the North Sebastian Conservation Area, the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, and the Cypress Bend Community Preserve.
For more information on the Gotta Go? signs, Winston the Water Dog, Bag It! Trash It! Program, water conservation, artwork, or photos, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Indian River County’s use of the Gotta Go? signs and stormwater program contact Diane Wilson, Indian River County Stormwater Education Coordinator or Beth Powell, Indian River County Conservation Lands Manager.