Sports association vice-president and some parents concerned about conditions at Greenland Park
JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Some parents expressed concerns Monday about conditions at Greenland Park – one shared a photo of rusting equipment at the playground on Jacksonville’s South Side.
Councilman Danny Becton told News4JAX the city is working on getting new playground equipment and fixing other issues at the park. Parents who spoke with News4JAX said the park just wasn’t safe.
Terry McGriff is Vice President of the Mandarin Athletic Association.
“We are worried about the children. We have the fall season coming very soon,” he said.
McGriff said broken fences, bent goal posts and dugouts are some of the things he would like the city to fix.
In 2015, the Mandarin Athletic Association was granted a license to use the park for athletics, and McGriff said that as part of that, they were responsible for maintaining the grounds, but not the equipment.
But the city says the Mandarin Athletic Association is not living up to its end of the contract. In an email from the head of recreation and community services at the MAA, it says fields must be brought up to standard, free of grass and weeds within 30 days.
If the items are not repaired by July 31, the city reserves the right to terminate the contract, which means that the MAA will no longer be able to use the fields.
But McGriff said they paid for grounds maintenance — $2,000 a month, and just needed to fix park equipment.
“You have to watch the goal posts. We’re afraid that, you know, it’s a matter of time. If it’s not going to hurt someone, it’s going to kill someone,” McGriff said.
The city said it was not informed that the park items were not up to standard.
MAA says they recently sent a long list of needed repairs to the city and repairs have begun on the dugout. But McGriff said many other areas still needed work.
“We can’t entice families to come here because they look at our facilities and take their kids somewhere else,” McGriff said.
Lance Heck’s baseball team, the Arrows, play at the park and he said his children use the playground. As repairs began, he said the team is helping to make the park a better place .
“We went out into the fields. We saw the state they were in and reached out to the families that are part of Arrows baseball and said, “Hey, we have a summer project now,” Heck said. “We’ve had families come here with shovels.”
Heck said the team had been fixing one of the fields for about three weeks.
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