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'It stinks.' Community leaders calling on Recs & Parks to cleanup park

Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 18:17:39-04

BALTIMORE — There's a foul smell coming from the community pavilion at Catherine Street ABC Park.

"I am shallowly breathing so that I don’t really take it," said Linda Gulliver. "I still smell it. It stinks."

What's Ms. Gulliver doesn't want to inhale is the stench of urine and fecal matter surrounding the perimeter of the pavilion.

"No one want to have to deal with this," she said, "not at a children's park."

Unfortunately, there weren't too many kids using the park. Community leaders tell WMAR 2 News since the park was renovated in 2019 it's lost its original feel.

The park reopened back in September of 2019with a new field house, work out equipment, basketball court and a splash pad.

At the time of the ribbon cutting ceremony Mayor Brandon Scott, who was then council president said the city is committed to reinvesting into activities for the young people.

“It can improve a community by improving how people believe and they feel about their community," he said."

Fast forward two years and Derwin Hannah says it feels as though the park has been forgotten.

The once operational splash pad hasn't seen any water flowing through its pipes. The area water fountains are not operational, and the bathroom doors are always locked.

"We've got fecal matter around the pavilion," said Hannah. "It has been forgotten. Every day I ride by I’m almost in tears because I think about all the work that we’ve done here and the work and the possibilities that we could continue."

Hannah says he's reached out to Recs and Parks, but talks have stalled.

"We want our community park back," he told WMAR 2 News.

We brought the neighborhood concerns to Recs and Parks.

A statement released to WMAR 2 News stated:

"Baltimore City Recreation and Parks shares our community’s commitment to the upkeep and maintenance of Catherine Street / ABC Park, and we will match and exceed that commitment through our actions in the future. BCRP will take the following actions:

  • Splash pads and park water fountains will continue to be suspended due to the pandemic
  • Establish a regular rotation to address the overall cleanliness of the park
  • Secure the proper permits to open and prevent misuse of the park’s restrooms to the public
  • Involve our Community Engagement Division to continue working with our community on implementing lasting change

BCRP wants to thank our community for their continued passion towards Catherine Street / ABC Park and holding us accountable to higher standards. We look forward to continuing improving that park and others within the city."

"We just want it cleaned up," reiterated Linda Gulliver. "Just clean it up and then let us take care of it."