By: Sharon Aron Baron
Moments after the city commission proclaimed July “Parks and Recreation Month” at their last meeting, Karen Jones, candidate for city commission, brought forward photos showing the lack of maintenance one park with problems dating as far back as Hurricane Wilma.
It began while she was knocking on doors and speaking to residents. Jones discovered one of the concerns was the state of several of the local parks. Specifically Fern Glen Park located at Wiles Road and NW 66th Terrace.
She found examples of many of the ongoing problems included the lack of demolition and removal of the nature boardwalk damaged by Hurricane Wilma. With no plans for rebuilding, the decaying boardwalk had been left in the woods. Also, there are no restrooms due to an electrical fire over a year ago that destroyed them. A port-a-potty and debris remain on site.
“The commission has worked on trying to get this fixed. It’s been slow, and that’s what my concern has been – how slow the process has been taking,” said Jones. “I understand we have to go through proper channels with permits, however, we need to secure the site more properly because our middle-schoolers can just hop that railing.”
Another park that concerns Jones is the North Community Park on Coral Springs Drive close to the Sawgrass Expressway where she said the Slide n’ Glide playground has holes in the rubberized ground cover which have grown deeper, creating a tripping hazard as children run through the area, as well as unsecured signage which poses a danger to toddlers who frequent the area.
Jones, who is running for commission seat 3, which is currently held by Larry Vignola, is not new to activism and volunteers in areas where she can help improve lives, especially helping children and individuals with special needs. as well as the public at large. She is involved with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Family Care Council and Joe DiMaggio’s Patient and Family Advisory Council.
Her goal is to make sure she gets the problems in the city rectified.
“I wanted to make sure this campaign is about the community and about the people. I’m only doing this to represent them and to give everyone a voice, and if I felt we all had one, I wouldn’t feel I needed to run right now.”