Local News

Safety, sharing come into conflict in Raleigh park

Posted September 11, 2008 9:33 a.m. EDT
Updated September 11, 2008 10:28 a.m. EDT

— Officials removed a collection of toys left in a city park, believing they created a hazard. But some parents say the city took away a fun tradition that helps children learn how to share.

Parents whose children play in Roanoke Park in Five Points said they leave toys in the park so that other children can then enjoy playing with them.

"It's a beautiful, community tradition," parent Kathryn Schiller said. "It teaches kids about sharing and just about being part of a community."

The Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department has begun removing the toys from Roanoke Park. The toys present a potential hazard, and if someone is hurt by them, the city could face a lawsuit, parks officials explained at a community meeting Wednesday night.

"Those things range from pails and shovels to playhouses," Parks Superintendent Wayne Schiendler said.

Some parents, though, said they do not understand why the toys could be a problem.

"I don't see a potential hazard," Schiller said.

Both city officials and parents have agreed to work toward a compromise.

"We need a solution fast, because nobody's going to the park anymore," Schiller said.

Schiendler said six to eight parents will be invited to discuss the issue with members of the Parks and Recreation Department in the next week. If they can come up a solution, the committee will present it to the City Council's Public Works Committee for approval.

"I think we're going to work through some potential options," Schiendler said.