No protective barrier for kids playing near hole at Avondale park

Mayor Lenny Curry has ordered a complete review of Jacksonville city parks after the tragic death of 3-year-old Amari Harley. And now, there are new questions about an unrepaired hole in an Avondale park.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was less than one week ago, 3-year-old Amari Harley was found dead in a park sewage system in Arlington.

Mayor Lenny Curry has since ordered a complete review of Jacksonville city parks after the tragic death. 

Now, there are new questions about an unrepaired hole in an Avondale Park.

Tennis at Boone Park has been a more than a quarter-century-long tradition for Kathy Parker. She's hoping a hole at the park does not also become a tradition.

"I think it's a shame," Parker said.

While there is police tape and tape with the word "danger" around the hole, there's no protective barrier on the part of the hole adjacent to playground equipment, just a string of tape.

"The children are shorter than this red tape they've put around it, so they just won't even slow up, they'll just be in the hole. It's very dangerous," she said.

The park is usually frequented by children and their parents. Children like 1-year-old Tanner Colding. Mom Danielle Colding said the hole has been there since the hurricane. It's made her think twice about bringing her toddler to her neighborhood park.

"I've contemplated going to another park with him, but I just try to keep him away from it," Colding said.

Marsha Oliver, Director of Public Affairs for the City of Jacksonville, sent First Coast News this statement:

"The City of Jacksonville, following the historic impact of conditions resulting from Hurricane Irma, has limited or restricted access to many parks throughout the city. These sites are those with damages or conditions that pose the greatest threats or risks to citizens. While areas of Boone Park remain open, city officials have implemented safeguards and highlighted risks in areas that were impacted as a result of a downed tree. Repairs are ongoing as city officials seek to ensure all guidelines and safety standards are met."

Colding said it's about time something is done.

"I hope it gets repaired soon because we're going on several months," she said.

Parker believes the safety of children should be the city's number one priority.

"Anything that is in question, whether it's a safety of a child, immediately needs to be taken care of," Parker said.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment