VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The organizers of the 4/20 gathering, which happens Friday at Sunset Beach, are emphasizing what measures they are taking to minimize damage to the park.
They say they’re spending tens of thousands of dollars to cover costs.One expense the gathering incurred last year was replacing the damaged grass at the park. Organizer Dana Larsen says that was taken into consideration this year, and explains the grass will be protected.
“So this is special, interlocking plastic panels that are specially designed to go over soil and not damage the grass,” he tells NEWS 1130. “It’s not cheap. Covering over the most damaged areas of the park from last time is going to cost us about $30,000.”
And for the first time in the event’s 24 year history, Larsen says they will cover costs such as traffic control, sanitation, engineering. They just won’t cover policing expenses.
“We cover pretty much every possible contingency, and we do everything that the city and the park board asks us to do, even though they still refuse to give us a permit.”
So how do they deal with garbage? Larsen says apart from asking vendors to take all their trash with them, the group has also hired a group to help sort out the recycling. “We clean up after the event and then the sanitation department comes by around midnight, and they’ll be picking up all the garbage from the designated spot.”
He says they’re paying for the higher costs by reducing the number of vendors who would, in the past, set up for free.
Larsen also expects there to be some money left over after the event wraps up. “So this year we’re actually making two charitable donations on behalf of the 4/20 event. We’ve decided to donate $4,200 to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, because they deal with some of the medical emergencies at 4/20 so we want to help support the work they do.”
The group will also be donating $4,200 to the Vancouver Firefighters “Snacks for Kids” program. “We’ve decided these are some charities we would like to support, and if things go well this year, we intend to increase the charitable aspect of 4/20 next year and work to make sure that those who attend also have a chance to donate and support local charities.”
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