‘Take back park’ effort is admirable

Published 11:26 pm Thursday, June 30, 2016

A group of residents in Brundidge will make an important stand for safety on Saturday.

Led by Corri Bailey, the “Take Back Our Park” effort is designed to draw families and residents to Galloway Park in an effort to “reclaim” the park from negative influences.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and like any good summer fun event offers games, contests, hotdogs and watermelon for the kids and their parents.

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More importantly, it offers a proactive response to encroaching safety issues at the park.

Public parks and buildings need to be safe, accessible areas for everyone in the community. And Galloway Park isn’t viewed by many Brundidge residents as either safe or accessible.

Brundidge residents have long complained that the city-sponsored park is a hangout – and not a park. It has been taken over by groups of people who gather to drink alcohol or sell drugs. Parents are not comfortable taking their children to the park, and adults aren’t comfortable using the park.

Police are familiar with the problems, as are city leaders. But Bailey believes reversing the trend depends on community involvement, hence the “take back our park” effort.

Will this one-day eliminate the loitering and perceived danger? Not by itself. But a grass-roots efforts, combined with strong law enforcement support and engaged city leaders could make a difference. And now is the time for that to happen.

Brundidge officials took a bold step this week by endorsing a grant application to build a new city park, complete with a splash pad and a recreational trail. The project – which will invest more than $500,000 in Brundidge – could significantly enhance the quality of life for residents in Brundidge. The splash pad’s proposed location isn’t far from Galloway Park, so it’s hopeful that any efforts to positively impact the environment at Galloway Park will carry over to the new splash pad park.

So join in the effort on Saturday and help Brundidge residents “take back our park.”