Group plans clean up of Forman Park, collaboration with City of Syracuse

Forman Park

A neighborhood group is working with the City of Syracuse to adopt Forman Park.

Parts of the park, which is located at East Genesee Street and Almond Street, have become overgrown and gardens have been neglected.

The City, Syracuse University and local businesses met Tuesday to discuss the future of the park, which sits at the entrance to the Connective Corridor.

A group of volunteers led by the Syracuse Police Retirees Association will be meeting to clean up Forman Park on Saturday morning. Anyone who would like to volunteer is welcome. The clean-up starts at 9:00 a.m. Saturday.

"What we are looking at is a new model working collaboratively with the businesses that will include voluntary efforts, something more formalized like an adopt a park program, and really see if we can come up with a new model that we can present back to the City. And this is a way neighbors can get engaged," said Linda Hartsock, director of the Connective Corridor at Syracuse University.

Last weekend, a separate group of volunteers, led by Laurinda Dixon and Deborah Pellow, took it upon themselves to tend to the park.

Syracuse Parks Commissioner Baye Muhammad told CNY Central last week that crews regularly mow the grass and pick up trash. Muhammad referred further questions to Mayor Stephanie Miner's office.

Mayor's office issued a statement, which said in part, "We appreciate the efforts of well-meaning and dedicated citizens who want to keep this downtown park beautiful. It was anticipated that the ongoing maintenance of the park would be taken care of by the special assessment district. It is truly unfortunate that the Council failed to pass it leaving all the partners of the Connective Corridor to figure out how to maintain this asset. Volunteers are a short term solution. A longer term solution needs to be found."

Talk of adopting the park comes just weeks after the Common Council rejected a maintenance fee that could have cost property owners along the Connective Corridor around $3,000 a year.The majority of Councilors said at the time that it was unfair to ask small business owners to pay to maintain the property when many of them didn't have a say in the decision to create the Connective Corridor.