By Lisa Kava
Eight bricks of exposed rat poison were found on Wednesday, February 16th, in three separate tree beds on the north side of West 85th Street, close to Riverside Drive. A few days earlier, on Saturday February 12th, approximately one dozen exposed bricks of poison were found along the wall inside Riverside Park, between 83rd and 85th Streets, by a neighborhood resident walking her dog.
The rat poison that was found in and near Riverside Park is green and resembles blocks of Lego or candy. Rat poison is toxic to dogs and to children, and if ingested requires immediate medical attention. Different brands of rat poison contain various ingredients, which are deadly, as these ingredients are meant to kill rats and mice. To learn more about how these ingredients are harmful click here.
Lincoln Neto, Manager of Basics Plus Hardware on Broadway at 84th Street, identified the poison found as a home product sold in stores and online. He said the poison looked like one called D-CON, which he stocks in his store. Rat poison is meant to be placed in secure bait stations, Neto explained, and should never be left out in the open.
It is unclear who is responsible for placing this poison in the neighborhood. A spokesperson for the Parks Department told the Rag that Parks did not place the poison in the park. “Our crews inspected and cleaned the site. We do not know who placed the bricks there, but we will continue to monitor. “
Chris Giordano, President of the Upper West Side Coalition, said “This is very concerning. We can help amplify the health concerns on social media and in our next newsletter.”
Council Member Gale Brewer and the Parks Department emphasize the importance of calling 311 if anyone notices exposed poison.
“We urge New Yorkers to help care for their neighborhood street trees and keep harmful materials out of tree pits. It is very important that if the community sees something of concern, they report these issues to 311, or 911 if criminally based,” the Parks Dept spokesperson said.
Gale Brewer’s office put out a statement on Twitter and Facebook “to ensure people are aware of this and to encourage anyone concerned about rats to call 311 and then our office,” said a spokesperson. “Gale loves dogs and this is very concerning to her that children and pets could be at risk.”
I've been in touch with @NYCParks who did not place this rat poison, and will monitor the situation. I encourage residents concerned w/ rats to call 311 to make a report, and call my office to assist. Open poison like this is a threat to kids and animals https://t.co/sE0sxRUUZn
— Gale A. Brewer (@galeabrewer) February 17, 2022