BOSTON (WHDH) - The Boston City Council will hold a hearing Friday to discuss problems at Clifford Park in Roxbury.
Community members around Clifford Park have been calling on city leaders to address the dangerous and unsanitary conditions at the park. They said the park is consistently littered with needles and trash, forcing families to stay away and the local Pop Warner football team to relocate their practices.
After a 9-year-old boy was stuck by a discarded needle while at football practice Wednesday, a spokesperson for the city said that “(t)he City takes seriously any incident involving the wellbeing of a child, and is working to ensure that Clifford Park is a safe and pleasant space for all to enjoy. The City understands the urgency of addressing the crisis in this area through equity-focused, public health-led policies that address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, substance use disorders, and behavioral health issues. Each person within this population has unique needs and requires resources from a continuum of services and the City is constantly working to connect them with the appropriate resources.”
This is the same park where a Boston Police officer was injured by a needle during a volunteer effort in August that prompted the city to take taking several steps including the recovery services outreach team canvassing the neighborhood every morning and afternoon. The city said its mobile sharps team also sweeps the park twice a day with a needle disposal bin sitting just outside the playground fence.
Domingos DaRosa, a local activist and football coach for the Boston Bengals, has been one of the many voices calling on city leaders to address the root of the problem: the city’s drug and homeless population.
DaRosa, who regularly tweets updates on the conditions of Clifford Park, shared in a post early Friday morning that he and activist Leon River created the park’s first needle kiosk to help keep the park clean.
Friday’s hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall in the Christopher A. Iannella Chamber.
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