May 21, 2009 – Hour 1

In our first hour, Marc spoke with Wanda Durden, director of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. The department is dealing with significant budget cuts and has proposed several options to get them through the lean months: among them, temporarily closing several community pools and recreation centers, an unhappy prospect for many children with summer just around the corner.

 Listen in while we talk with Wanda about our parks and what they mean to us.

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show currently airs on The Real News Network. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Email us to share your comments with us.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    This makes me sad. We have a Director of Recreation and Parks that can not even tell you why Recreation and Parks IS as important as the police and fire department. How is she suppose to advocate for her own Department to acquire the funds to run our struggle system.

    Lack of community input,
    Lack of knowledge about our parks. . . Druid Hill still has the boat lake that the first caller asked for. The Zoo has it gated and uses it as a high priced rental to make income.

    We have had Director of Parks after Director not understand what it is their main function is and as a result we loose Park land again and again. These are suppose to be the preservation of resources and areas for our Baltimore citizens to play and enjoy not to be sold because a Director can’t figure it out.

    PARKS FOR SALE:Fort Small Wood is now being run by Anne Arundel County , Robert E Lee park is going to the County( By the way People are actually dangling off the sides of this gated areas to get in. Its a tad bit safer to just open the gate then wait until someone falls over the side to get around it), Herring Run Park is loosing 84 arces of Park land to become a light industrial park and parking for tractor trailers.

    Lake Montebello is a better utilized recreation area than any of the parks is not owned or managed by Rec N parks. Has anyone asked the community if they want exercise equipment? Like the caller from the Patterson Dog Park Group said.

    Community input.
    One of the major complaints from the City park Friends Groups is that decisions are made all the time for parks with out ever including the communities they are suppose to be serving.

    Is City wide request by park users in Patterson, Clifton has two major roads segmenting it and making it the worst park to try and travel from the south end when the pools are to the north end. Herring Run Park has been Fighting for two years to get the access road eliminated.

    I am twitching i am so frustrated. Recreation and Parks employees Sleep in there trucks, We contract out the Mowing for most of our parks, We have Recreation and Parks Employees in Management who are just waiting for pensions and no longer care about our parks. We have a Trails Manger who runs his own summer camp for profit in Sandy Point state park. But can not show up to work here in Baltimore, Our ranger program is a joke. Ranger Program you say? Yeah no supervision , purpose or direction no training and no education on the matter. Our Parks Capital Improvement Department feels that the community it serves has no place in the planning of its own parks. Has anyone ever tried to go to one of our cities fine recreation centers? the entire Recreation and parks department is a mess. and they think that they are going to get tons of grant money and the adopt a park program will save the parks?

    So government wants to compete with the other non profits in Baltimore.

    OK the rant is over. Thank you!

    Great show MARC!
    I wish I had known it was on and all i was doing was working in the garden. Next time you have this topic i would love to know. And i know a few Friends of Parks Groups that would as well.

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