Glassy Beach could disappear

Treasure seekers are carting it away in pieces

Rudy Norman
Published on August 22, 2014
An old dump site containing numerous discarded bottles and glass containers from years ago created Glassy Beach near Springdale.
— Submitted photo

A determined former teacher is spearheading a campaign to save a popular Springdale visitor destination, which she fears will be lost if action isn’t taken.

Anne Warr taught in Springdale and King’s Point for years before spending the tail end of her career in Grand Falls-Windsor, where she’s from and where she currently lives.

She has fond memories of Springdale because of the community and its many attractions, including Glassy Beach.

“When I was there, and when I was raising our children there, we knew about Glassy Beach, but it was almost like a well-kept secret,” she said. “It wasn’t as popular as it is today.”

Glassy Beach is the site of a former landfill in Springdale, located near the water before the days of environmental education and sophisticated safety awareness. The site has been closed for decades, and materials from the dump have decomposed back into the earth like they were supposed to. However, the remnants of an age when glass containers were the norm are evident.

The water on the beach and the years of nature’s elements have turned the area into a landscape of smooth, glimmering glass that litters the shoreline and is a magical attraction for those who visit.

Sea glass is often treasured and can fetch a good price in some places, among craftspeople. Warr says that’s one of the big reasons many people who visit the beach leave with their fair share of souvenirs.

“Word is getting around and the secret is out about the beach,” she said. “So people go there to visit, and to see it, and most of them take some of the glass with them when they go.”

Warr says taking one or two pieces as a memento is fine, but some people go overboard.

“People go there and come out with shopping bags full, and go around the beach picking up certain pieces,” she said.

“We’ve heard reports of people coming in and filling up the bottoms of their boat, or looking for certain colours of glass, probably for an art project or something.”

It’s situations like that which  concern Warr and others.

She approached the Town of Springdale, which agreed with her assessment of the situation and agreed to help.

“For now, we have some signs done up to inform people that the glass isn’t to be taken from the beach,” she said.

The signs contain a photo of a “genie in a bottle” on Glassy Beach, and a poem from local poet Davis Hall. They will be posted on and near the beach for visitors to see when they arrive.

Should the problem persist, Warr suggested the town install surveillance cameras. She also wants to get the word out to those who have taken glass to please restore what’s gone.

“If people have visited and have taken any of the glass, I think they should just return it and put it back where it should be,” she said.

“It’s a beautiful site here for the town, but if we don’t take care of it, someday it won’t be there anymore.”

The Nor’Wester