For Pedro Segarra: A good idea, but the cleanup effort must be ongoing
Hartford Courant Editorial
August 03, 2010
Hartford's new mayor, Pedro Segarra, takes a dim view of the uncomely appearance of some of the city's parks. So he's organized an activity he has dubbed "Parks Week." From Aug. 23-28, city crews and volunteers will go from park to park, pruning or removing fallen trees, branches and shrubs, repairing what's broken and removing trash and leaves.
The mayor is on target. Hartford's parks should be a top priority. Their condition says much about civic pride and quality of life.
In the gilded age, Hartford's parks were the envy of any city its size. They are potentially beautiful today, but sadly, the parks, or parts of them, are unkempt and trash-strewn, with broken fences, benches and other equipment. Their condition has succumbed to indifference on the part of too many residents and a shrunken city staff.
Some volunteers at the organization and neighborhood levels do a great job of keeping parks in presentable shape, but it's tough to keep up with the need.
Mr. Segarra doubtless knows that one Parks Week won't do the job.
It should be an annual event perhaps augmented by a police crackdown on illegal dumping and vandalism, a shift in resources to have more workers and fewer managers at the Department of Public Works, an enhanced role for volunteers — and maybe high-profile mayoral recognition of civic groups that excel at park cleanup.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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