Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Evad

Dead Childrens Playground

10 posts in this topic

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

The city in all of its infinite wisdom, has apparently already made the decision to make DCP part of Maple Hill Cemetary. Seems as though all of the equipment has already been moved...

This really, REALLY pisses me off. One of the parts I loved about my house I recently bought in Blossomwood was this it was a 5 minute walk to this park. Now after being here for 4 months or so the city is greedily taking that away from me. Why does this town feel the need to destroy anything unique for the sake of a few bucks? Don't get me wrong, I love Maple Hill Cemetary, but I am definitely not for them taking public land to add a few extra plots. For anyone whose never been there, it is a beautiful location, surrounded on 3 sides by a rock wall. Not to mention a nearby baseball field.

They say unsavory activity goes on there. Well do something about it! Video surveillance perhaps? Is it really that much trouble for an officer to drive up that little street and take a look? If you make a police present known there for a short while, I would think it would drive these people away. Also, whose to say that will change just because there's no longer slides and swings there? And what if they stop going here... So what? They find somewhere else? On the other hand, I personally have never witnessed any unsavory activity there. I have been there several times since moving to the area, and all I've ever seen is kids swinging. Not to say it never happens, but it doesn't sound as bad as they say.

So the equipment is old and outdated. Put new stuff there! As much as I love the character of the existing equipment, I would much rather see the park live on in a different form.

Anyways, it is unlikely that there is anything to be done at this point. Sounds like the decision has already been made. But there is a huntsville city council meeting tonight at 6:00pm on the first floor of the administration building at 308 fountain circle. The city council phone number is 427-5011.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I live about a 5 minute walk from the park as well. It is a really nice spot although I go to Hermitage and California St parks more often. I have felt that it would be a place for "unsavory" types to gather. But so is the Land Trust, Monte Sano, Green Mountain... Big Spring Park has its fair share of "unsavory" people certain times of the day as well. The park needed an occassional patrol and video surveillance, that is for sure. It is too private and isolated, although in the dozen times I've been there I haven't seen anything odd. I can imagine neighborhood teenagers sneek out of their houses and meet up back there at night. I would have. :)

I just can't believe they took down all the equipment BEFORE the public meeting. That is shameful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I live about a 5 minute walk from the park as well. It is a really nice spot although I go to Hermitage and California St parks more often. I have felt that it would be a place for "unsavory" types to gather. But so is the Land Trust, Monte Sano, Green Mountain... Big Spring Park has its fair share of "unsavory" people certain times of the day as well. The park needed an occassional patrol and video surveillance, that is for sure. It is too private and isolated, although in the dozen times I've been there I haven't seen anything odd. I can imagine neighborhood teenagers sneek out of their houses and meet up back there at night. I would have. :)

I just can't believe they took down all the equipment BEFORE the public meeting. That is shameful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shameful indeed.

I'm assuming you are in Blossomwood too then(I'm on Carmelian Street)? Assuming you do live in Blossomwood, have you heard anything about car break ins? My neighbor across the street told my fiance that a police officer told them there had been several car break-ins in the area lately and to watch out. Specifically to move any cars parked on the street into the driveway. You heard anything about this? I have noticed an increase in patrol cars in the area(saw 2 Monday morning I believe it was). <sarcasm> Maybe it's the unsavory folks from DCP that no longer have swings and a slide to keep them busy... </sarcasm>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I'm a Blossomwood resident. I tried to PM you about some of the neighborhood stuff recently, but apparently you have to have 10 posts before you can PM. So find three more topics you'd like to comment on and I'll send you a message. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I grew up in Bwood and my parents still live there. They said there have been several home invasion break-ins lately. Kicking the front door in around 7am kind of stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

If council's reaction isindicator, park will stay

A playground for the living won over more resting space for the dead Thursday night in a debate over whether to expand Maple Hill Cemetery into a neighborhood park.

No action was taken by the City Council but the measure appears dead if council reaction is any indication. A majority stated support for keeping the park intact.

Council members - angry over the weekend removal of playground equipment before the issue was voted on - ripped the equipment removal as premature and in poor judgment. Council President Glenn Watson apologized to residents from Blossomwood and nearby neighborhoods who flocked to the City Council meeting wanting answers.

"It was an error. It was done at an inopportune time. There's been no decision by council members, and council members are concerned the way it happened as it did," Watson said.

Residents seemed particularly upset that playground equipment, picnic tables and ballpark fencing were yanked out over the weekend with no advance notice.

"Is this a foregone conclusion for this park to be incorporated into a cemetery?" asked Blossomwood resident Todd Lattanzi.

City Parks and Recreation Director Greg Patterson defended the removal as an effort to rid the park of aging, dangerous equipment. He rejected suggestions the administration figured expansion approval was a given.

"Do you think it's a good practice to remove playground equipment without council approval?" questioned Councilman Mark Russell.

"Probably not. I apologize to the council. This by no means was assuming this cemetery expansion was sure," Patterson said.

Russell, whose district includes historic Maple Hill Cemetery and adjacent Maple Hill Park, challenged claims by City Cemetery Director Brenda Webb that the park is dangerous for children and little used.

"It is hardly ever used for much except vandals, drug deals, lovers and employees hiding out from their employers," Webb wrote last week in an e-mail to council members, adding there was support from the mayor's office to turn the 13-acre park into more cemetery plots.

Under questioning from Russell, City Public Safety Director Rex Reynolds said police records of crime reports at the park don't support those claims.

"The overall crime rate does not suggest that's (Maple Hill Park) a problem for us," Reynolds said.

Records from 2005-2007 show a total of 10 incident reports in the park over that three-year period: Five drug-related, a robbery, a sexual misconduct report, a concealed weapons violation and a suicide. Maple Hill Cemetery drew 16 incident reports since 2005: 12 for unlawful breaking and entering into a vehicle, one harassment and two for desecrating grave sites.

Blossomwood resident Julian Butler said the only criminal activity he's witnessed in 41 years of daily commutes past the park is occasional littering of signs and balloons marking reunions and birthday parties.

"I was absolutely stunned when I read in the morning paper I was living in a high crime area," he said sarcastically.

Mayor Loretta Spencer missed the meeting because of a previous commitment. Webb was out because of medical reasons.

Spencer administrative assistant Terry Hatfield stayed out of the debate except to say the cemetery is running out of space and that the park takeover would provide space for 750 to 1,000 lots and bring an additional $1.5 million to the city for cemetery upkeep.

The proposal is in line for a council vote at the Oct. 25 meeting unless the administration pulls it from the agenda.

Councilman Bill Kling said he's inclined to support the neighborhood park and Russell is determined to kill the proposal.

"We should not give up any park in Huntsville, especially in core neighborhoods. I'll go down fighting this," he said.

"It was handled poorly and I will definitely support your position on this," Watson said.

I went to this meeting last night. It was actually my first city council meeting ever... There were several Blossomwood residents who voiced their opinions during the public forum part, which meant I didn't have to. :P I lack the credibility they do anyway since I'm only a 4 month or so resident and in my 20s.

Anyways, I know I'm going to take the time to write to the city councilmen/women and thank them for their support in this matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

The park is saved! The mayor pulled the item off the agenda for the next city council meeting. Funny how this whole plan just kind of backfired for the city. Now instead of making money off the sell of the land, now they have to pay to install new equipment, not to mention they are clearing much of the plant overgrowth. I am pumped! I think I'll see if my fiance wants to have a celebratory picnic there this weekend...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.