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.
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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 it’s 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.