I am not writing out of anger. My family and I recently returned from a three-day trip to Duluth. We had a great time in a beautiful city. However, while exploring Leif Erikson Park, my 2-year-old daughter was exploring a hedge tunnel by one of the rose gardens. While she was inside the hedge, a park employee informed me that the week before she had found a bunch of used needles in the hedge. Needless to say, in a panic, I got my daughter out of there.

Thankfully, she appeared unharmed. Yet, I feel that the situation should be addressed.

First, the employee who alerted me of her findings should be commended.

Unfortunately, drug use cannot be suspended by mere ordinance. But cities outside the U.S. have had success with “safe spots” where users can go. Google it. I found a good story on Sweden's attempt at this. It would be great for the citizens of Duluth and tourists if Duluth was a leading advocate for a similar system.

At the very least, Duluth can put up signs around the park to alert parents not to let their children roam in the hedge. (There were two children in there before my daughter.) I understand this isn’t a great marketing option for Duluth, but it is the least that can be done.

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Had someone other than the park employee made that discovery the previous week, this letter could be coming from an attorney and sent to the city, besmirching more than Duluth’s reputation.

Speaking for all travelers to Duluth, I expect something to be done on this.

Christian Odegard

New Ulm, Minnesota

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