Should metal detector operators be allowed to dig for treasure in the grass at public parks?
The City of Vernon says the practice isn’t allowed, arguing it can damage public property and could be prove to be dangerous if it creates a tripping hazard.
However, one enthusiast is pressing for the practice to be allowed, arguing metal detectors could make parks safer.
Doug Arnison argues allowing metal detectors to be used on the grass in public parks allows operators to find lost jewelry and potentially return it to its rightful owner, if it is engraved. He also says metal detection can help find things like discarded needles.
The City of Vernon says it’s not the metal detector itself that’s the problem. The problem is when the metal detectors’ operators dig into the grass to look for metal objects.
“You can’t deface or damage or destroy public property,” Geoff Gaucher, the city’s manager of protective services, said on Wednesday.
However, Arnison argues he can replace the sod he cuts out without significant damage to the grass, and without creating a tripping hazard or damaging pipes.
Metal detector enthusiasts are allowed practice their hobby on local beaches.
The city says it is not looking at changing its policy, but Arnison is planning to press the issue at city hall.