A man took his daughter to play at Shrimp Boat Playground in Bluffton Sunday morning, but his priorities would change when he arrived to find it covered in garbage.
Upon seeing the mess, Bluffton resident Luke Visscher went to work cleaning it up.
“Literally stuff was everywhere. Took me over an hour to clean up,” said Visscher in a comment on the Bluffton/Hilton Head Ask and Answer Facebook group, where he posted about the experience.
In taking matters into his own hands and cleaning up the trash himself, Visscher had to disappoint his daughter.
“My little one isn’t happy. I spent zero time with her,” he said.
In his initial post, Visscher was disheartened by the careless mess he found at the playground, saying that he had found over 500 pieces of garbage on the ground, including chicken bones that had been left on the playground equipment. A custodian told him that the mess was likely left behind from a birthday party on Saturday.
He didn’t contact police, but still wanted to know why the people who left the trash didn’t clean up after themselves.
“I find it unfathomable that any parent could leave this amazing place we have for kids this way,” he said in the post. “...if you were here, do the right thing and come pick up your mess.”
Members of the community responded to Visscher’s post with similar disgust.
“Wow that’s a complete disrespect to our town. If people have no manners, they should just stay home and trash their own houses,” said one commenter by the name of OtVasc Lu.
Many lamented how disgusting the situation was, while others took the chance to thank Visscher for taking the time to clean up someone else’s mess.
“Thank you for cleaning it up! It is so sad that people could even leave seeing it like this and think it is ok,” commented Hilton Head Island resident Leigh Carpenter.
Visscher said the park is his 3-year-old daughter’s favorite place to go, which made finding it covered in trash Sunday morning especially troubling.
“I was extremely disappointed to have to explain to my 3-year-old, who understands how to pick up after herself, that a mommy or daddy left her playground like this,” he said.
While Visscher said it wasn’t a big deal cleaning up, it upset him because he has a lot of pride in Bluffton and its’ residents, and he doesn’t understand why anyone would leave such a mess behind.
After getting things mostly cleaned up and heading home, Visscher was able to return to the playground with a blower to finish the job.
He also brought his daughter, and when he finished the job the two were finally able to play.