Residents try to ‘take back’ Galloway Park

Published 9:19 am Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Galloway Park

The “Take Back Our Park” event at Galloway Park in Brundidge Saturday was successful in bringing awareness to the problems at the park and generated interest in taking back the park and in making it a safe playground for the children and for the neighborhood.

“We had good participation at Saturday’s event  but we would have liked to have the whole town turn out,” said Corri Bailey who is spearheading the efforts to take back the park. “Our first concern is that Galloway Park has become a hangout where people are drinking, doing drugs, using foul language and really making the park their place instead of place for kids to play and families to enjoy.”

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Bailey said parents and concerned citizens can clean up the park but they can’t make it a safe place.

“The city and law enforcement have to do that,” she said and gestured toward a dented and leaning sign.  “This sign, ‘No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed’ prohibits drinking at the park but it goes on all the time. Why is it allowed?”

Bishop Samuel Valentine shook his head as if he had no answer.

“If the law is not going to be enforced, then this sign needs to be taken down,” Valentine said. “It’s useless. You might as well throw it in the ditch. The sign has been abused and that shows that some people have no respect for the law or for others.”

Valentine said those who are drinking and doing drugs at the park should be arrested and charged.

“They are breaking the law and nobody is doing anything about it,” he said.

The lack of law enforcement at the park was a main topic of conversation but there were other concerns, including the safety of the playground and the lack of upkeep.

“The park is not being kept up,” Bailey said.

“And, it looks some better today because we’ve worked several days getting ready for ‘Take Back Our Park.’ But all we did was clean up the trash. The ball field is overgrown in weeds. There are deep cracks in the surface of the tennis court. The net is down.

“Some of the playground equipment is damaged. Just so much neglect.”

Valerie Burden said Galloway Park is a historic park and should be a safe place for children to play.

“But it’s not. Not the way it is,” she said. “Just look around.”

Burden pointed to exposed bolts on the curbing around the playground equipment and the cement blocks on the playground and in the dugouts. A sharp-toothed nub of a tree trunk juts out from the sandy area of the playground.

“It’s just not a safe playground,” she said. “If the city has money to build a new playground, they should have the money to fix this one.

“Why has it not been kept up? Why is a city park in this condition?”

Annie Wood said Galloway Park is in a ideal location.

“This is where the park should be. In the neighborhood, where children can walk to it and where people are all around,” she said. “It’s a neighborhood park and it’s been here a long time.

“If we make this park safe for children to play, then the neighborhood will be safe and Galloway Park will be great place for all us.”

Bailey agreed that Galloway Park can be a safe place but, it’s going to take more to make it that way than emptying the garbage cans.

“Right now, that’s about all that’s being done.”