Flanigan Park needs a helping hand and community buy-in

Elliot Walker Sr. is a city resident who lives in the neighborhood around Flanigan Park.

He knows what he is seeing and would like it to change.

“Everybody’s morale is down. Everyone talks and no one wants to walk,” he said following a recent meeting with Mayor Gabriel J. Campana. “We need a change in this neighborhood. A change in scenery creates a change in attitude.”

Walker thinks a change in attitude could be triggered by improvements to Flanigan Park.

He is hoping to use the conduits of the non-profit organization Firetree Place, owner of the park, and the city administration to make that happen.

The park includes a baseball field, outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts and two playgrounds. But a look at the park exposes the need for improvements.

Mayor Campana said the city may be able to help with grant writing which could result in federal funds to improve the park.

We hope that happens and we hope organizers are able to obtain money to improve the park.

In that area of the city, Flanigan Park can be the center for positive development of both the youth and the rest of the residential population. Parks are more than grass and dirt; they are emotional centers for the people who live around them.

As such, they should be nurtured and improved whenever that’s possible.

Just as importantly, parks need buy-in from the people living around them.

As vital as it is to improve the park, it’s just as important that residents follow Walker’s advice and get involved in preserving their park and their neighborhood.