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Penticton’s inaugural needle sweep produces results

A group of concerned parents in Penticton took to the city's streets and parks to clean up used needles.

A group of Penticton residents, outraged after seeing a video where a small girl claims she was pricked by a discarded needle at Skaha Park, took matters into their own hands Saturday by cleaning up the city.

Their goal was to find and pick up as many discarded needles as possible.

READ MORE: Growing calls to combat discarded needles in Penticton after child allegedly poked in park

“I’m here in regards to the girl that stepped on the used needle Tuesday,” said concerned parent Matt Ferguson.

“That was the catalyst and pretty much the final straw for me.”

Organizer Jennifer Young says the video and what she has since learned about how many discarded needles are actually found in Penticton have been eye-opening.

READ MORE: Penticton family honours nana on anniversary of passing with random act of kindness, free coffee

“I learned from talking to the city hall bylaw office that there are between 100 to 500 needles found per day,” Young said.

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The search for needles led the group to a children’s park where Gina Silvestre says she once found three of them in and around the play equipment.

She said she walked by a play structure and saw the needles sitting right where kids would be playing.

READ MORE: Needles and blood found in Kelowna vehicle after overnight theft

Organizers say Saturday’s inaugural sweep found more than two dozen needles, one of which was on the beach.

Young said there are plans in the works to do weekly or bi-weekly sweeps to clean up the town.