A group of volunteers intend to spruce up a Syracuse city park which is fast turning into an eyesore. Forman Park, located at East Genesee and Almond Streets, is the home of a police memorial but parts of the facility have become overgrown with unsightly weeds and gardens have been neglected for months.
On Saturday, beginning at 10:30 a.m., a group of volunteers led by Laurinda Dixon and Deborah Pellow will take it upon themselves to get rid of the weeds and tend to the flowers and plants that are struggling to survive.
Dixon told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that she hopes to send a message to City Hall that "you don't just plant a garden and walk away from it."
Anyone who wants to join the effort on Saturday is welcome and encouraged to bring gardening tools.
On August 3rd, a separate group of volunteers led by the Syracuse Police Retirees Association also intend to clean up and restore Forman Park. That effort will involve a landscape architect to help oversee the work.
Forman Park is located in the "Connective Corridor," an ambitious development project aimed at connecting Syracuse University with downtown Syracuse.
A proposal to impose a special tax on businesses for the additional maintenance of streets and landscapes along the corridor recently failed.
Syracuse Parks Commissioner Baye Muhammad says crews regularly mow the grass and pick up trash. Muhammad referred further questions to Mayor Stephanie Miner's office.
Late Friday afternoon, the Mayor's office issued the following statement:
"The City of Syracuse appreciates the collective concern of citizens who want to keep Forman Park clean and beautiful. A group of volunteers organized by the Police Retirees Association, our partners at Syracuse University, and the city will be tackling a park clean up next weekend. 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."