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Are our neighborhood parks in trouble?

Are our neighborhood parks being neglected?

Like every family does on the weekend, we decided to go to our neighborhood park to spend some quality time. While spending a few hours in South Hairston Park in the Stone Mountain Redan area of Dekalb County, we could not help but to notice how poor the upkeep of the county park really was. As we walked through the park to take in the serene scenery of the lake, we passed scattered litter, cracking sidewalks, and the old ancient playground equipment. Many people are not aware of this beautiful lake in this park. It is a huge asset to our park. The only problem is that it is not landscaped around that area. When I first moved into my neighborhood, I was so impressed by this park and considered it a hidden treasure because of the beautiful lake scenery and wildlife. Now, I am seeing that it needs much attention and care.

There seems to be a walking trail in this park, but you would never know it because there are no signs. And frankly, it does not look safe. The lake is covered with scattered debris, cups, paper and other things that need to be placed in a garbage can. From the looks of how old some of the paper was, this led me to believe two things. Either, we have a huge litter problem in Dekalb County parks or the upkeep of the parks is not being done. I also noticed that as it got later in the evening, the park did not have sufficient lighting.  

Parks are important to the quality of life for residents of Stone Mountain, Redan and Dekalb County. These are the places where we come to relax, exercise, picnic and take our kids to play. There is no room for error with our neighborhood parks.

What kind of challenges is your neighborhood park having? Do you feel safe there? Is it trashed with litter? Does it have sufficient lighting as it gets later in the evening? What are your thoughts on some of the challenges that we are having with our neighborhood parks? What can we do to make our parks better? Have you ever had an issue with your neighborhood park and reached out to the Dekalb County Parks and Recreation department? Did you get a favorable response? 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

kensington palace September 24, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Personal responsibility is lacking by most folks who cannot think that they have a part in not littering in their neighborhood parks and rec centers. The standard mantra "it's the County's job to care for parks and rec centers" always resonates among the guilty. Half the battle is won when the individuals do their part by picking up their own trash. If the children witness their adults picking up trash then most times the children follow that behavior.
Henry Louis Adams September 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Great comment. What can we do to encourage people to take personal responsibility? Are there any programs that you know of that are effective in promoting personal responsibility to not littering? I know that there is a program "Keep Dekalb Beautiful". How do we educate people to not litter and educate them on the negative impact that litter has on the environment?

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