City Looking for Help Maintaining Pocket Parks

It is no secret that the City is looking for help in maintaining some of its parks. Many are known as "pocket parks," small pieces of property that are difficult for the City to maintain.

So now, the City is asking neighbors or organizations to lease or volunteer to keep up the parks.

The City acquired Lee Manor Park in 1962. The 1.1-acre park is definitely a pocket park, located right in the middle of the 300 block of Palmetto, its sign sandwiched between two homes.

It is actually the main entrance to the place. Once you get into the park, you'll find some playground equipment and a picnic table.

A number of the residents in the neighborhood do use the park, including a tee ball team, but it is one of the 27 pocket parks that the City is looking for residents to take over.

That's because City Council-approved budget cuts to the Parks Department over the past few years have forced the department to do more with less. Parks Director Michael Morris said he needs residents or organizations to step up and help them out with the maintenance of these pocket parks.

"It could be that a neighborhood association does an adopt-a-park to take over some of it," Morris said. "Maybe a youth sports association leases part of it, so we're looking at ways that the community can help us maintain the parks."

Across the street there is a vacant lot, another one of the many such properties around town that the owner needs to pay a bit closer attention to.

So the residents in the neighborhood have to put up with a huge, weedy lot, and the possibility that their park could end up sold off if someone doesn't step forward and agree to help out with the maintenance of the unique recreation spot.

Morris said that selling a park is a last resort. He said that is because it's nearly impossible to sell park land in the state, and would require voter approval.


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