Neighbors Jumping Into Action After City Plans to Cut Parks

Neighbors Jumping Into Action After City Plans to Cut Parks
RICHLAND -- Richland neighbors have rallied together, hoping to adopt some parks, before the city shuts them down and sells them off. Last week, the city's parks and recreation department recommended closing a series of parks, including Westwood, Barth, and Greater Years.

They claimed people don't use them enough.

"If the city plans to surplus the parks, I hope that maybe we can band together and talk about it," Dan Scott said.

But that proposal to kick some Richland parks to the curb has turned into a plan to keep them here.

"That's one of the things that makes our community nice, is that we have parks," Scott said. "But I think it's the city's responsibility to maintain them."

The city, however, claims they can't afford to anymore.

Instead, Richland hopes a neighborhood group or business will adopt the parks and maintain them.

The Parks and Rec department offered to help find those potential groups, even promising to make personal visits.

"There's not a lot of business here, I mean on G-Way there's a lot but there's not a lot of businesses here, so I'm not sure if there'd be enough neighbors to come forward," Barth park neighbor Anna Moses said.

"I don't think that will happen," Scott said. "I think they'll sell it. It's probably what they want to do."

Scott lives right across from Barth Park. so far, he doesn't know of any efforts to save their local playfield.

Some neighbors would fight for it.

"I would because, like I say, my kids use it all the time," Moses said.

And while Barth park might be without a plan, the city confirmed, another group has a plan of attack to save Greater Years Park.

Nothing's set in stone, but the city said one neighborhood group is exploring the idea of a community garden in place of the green.

"I'm a little baffled, to be honest with you, as to why the city would abandon these parks," Homan told Action News in an interview last week.

Jim Homan said his Westwood Park neighbors are gathering too. Homan insists his folks have a strategy, but he's not telling. Apparently those plans are "top secret".

The folks who live near Westwood Park held a meeting Monday night to talk over the park issue.

In the meantime, Parks and Rec said they hope to get those letters out about adoption to businesses this week.

The Parks and Rec commission doesn't meet again on this issue until August 14.