For years I have admired the Damon Garcia fields. I drive, bike or walk past them daily. They are packed on weekends and empty on weekdays.
On a recent lunchtime outing, three co-workers and I headed over to shake some winter rust off by tossing and hitting the ball for a while. We were alone in the 20-acre park except for one guy doing wind sprints and someone walking her dog.
After a short time, we were hailed by a public works employee and asked for our permit. Apparently, one can only use the fields with a permit. Not just for large organized groups, for anything.
We were invited to go to another park.
Then he hailed the runner as well. We left without seeing whether they chased off the woman with her dog on the path.
A 20-acre public park closed unless its a reserved event? I find this completely unreasonable and absurd. I understand purpose-built facilities, but if there is no conflict, what is the point? This is supposed to be Parks and Recreation.