We have a lovely little park, all the neighbors love our park. Everyone takes pride in the park and tries to keep it clean. On Monday August 21st I walked out to put some some paper in my recycling. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a small fire and someone standing next to the fire. I thought WTF!!! is one of my neighbors playing a joke on us? As I walked over I could see an older man next to the fire in a pile of bark dust (highly flammable bark dust). I told him he could not have a fire in the park and to put it out right now. He said "i thought this was a BBQ area"...really a pile of bark dust in the middle of summer...what the hell. I told him I was going to get some water and my husband, he had better get his bags and leave the park right now. I called into the house and told my husband to come out with his cell phone right now, I filled a garden bucket with water and returned to the area of the fire. The man was slowly gathering his items and asked why he had to leave...I told him because he started a fire in a park & I was on the phone with 911. He started to argue with me but then decided against it as my husband yelled at him to leave. Now I know the fire does not look like it was very large, but when I approached the man it was about 18" wide by 24"tall, he was adding more wood to the fire and seemed like he was going to settle down for a snack.
The 911 operator asked if the fire was out, I said yes the man was walking away. About a minute later the man came back, he had forgotten his backpack, 2 minutes after that the fire department arrived, they made sure the fire was out. The police never came to take my report, must have been a busy night in the City of Roses.
I know these are blurry photos but he was moving as my husband took the photos. He was an older male about 60-65 years old, about 120-130 lbs, 5' 7"or 8" tall, grey longer hair with a full beard, he was wearing a dark jeans and a blue shirt, he had a dark burgundy backpack.
This type of behavior is unacceptable in a park, I believe the homeless problem has gotten out of control. Just look at the green space that is about 100 ft down on Going Street, it currently has 5 or 6 tents set up and a large amount of trash all over the area. It also had a van parked in the area but that is gone as of today.
My biggest frustration is that I bought a house in a depressed area and worked hard to clean it up, I had my share of needles and condoms in the park but all that went away in the mid 90's as family's started to move into the area and the junkies and prostitutes started to leave. Now I have to worry about the amount to trash that is left behind by homeless folks as well as the rats that come with that amount of garbage. Not to mention the fire danger if people thing it's OK to start a fire in a park in a pile of bark dust.
End of rant....come visit our park, it's a nice place.