People who live near a neighborhood park in the U-Med district are hoping the city can help make it a safer place. Folker Park, on East 42nd Street, was created in the mid-1990s, but resident Barbara Garner, who was instrumental in getting the park started, said things have changed a lot since then.


“We didn’t have a homeless problem then, that was not the situation, ” said Garner.


Garner said neighbors no longer use the park because they are afraid. In the summer months, she said, it’s full of homeless people and others using drugs. Garner said she’d like to see the park return to a place where all people feel welcome.


“Where the neighbors will feel like it’s OK to come here because there are birds, there are all kinds of things in the summertime,” said Garner. “It’s a great place, but we want to be safe.”


City park planner Maeve Nevins said the city is aware of the problems at the park — mostly because Garner has brought them to their attention. She said the April ballot will have a bond for $200,000 to pay for improvements at Folker Park.


One thing being considered is a paved trail running through the 2 acre park, so that people using wheelchairs or walkers at a nearby assisted living facility can use it.


Nevins said the city is actively seeking input on what residents would like to see at Folker Park. For more information, click here.


KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.