“Homeless” Kids: A Jackson Heights’ Local Park Closed for Repairs

Do you remember your castle in your living room? Or maybe the spaceship that you once travelled all over the galaxy in? Now let your mother or father take it away from you, by throwing away the couch. The same couch that held off an invasion from a rival king or maybe the one that help you be the first man on Mars, before Matt Damon. All those unforgettable memories are now gone, and the new couch may be huge and "better" but you miss your memories: you miss your old couch. Now how beneficial is to take away the park that young kids beg their parents to take them to, where teenagers play ball, staying active and away from peer pressure.

Access Denied!

Our local park, Junction Playground, is closed and being rebuilt with lots of upgrades for the local children, but why must it take so long? It been taking a very long while and kids have nowhere to go play and hang out and blow off steam after a long day of school. One side may think while the park is being rebuilt, kids will be focusing on school homework, but how would you feel if your boss said you can't have a lunch break for the next two years because they’re fixing the cafeteria? Sound idiotic, but unlike adults who can eat somewhere else, local children don't have another park, another option.

The importance of rebuilding the park is recognized by people who live in the area. “It's good that the local government is building our kids new swings. Those swings [have] been there since I was a child,” a local mother stated. However, some, such as a local teen, argue that “We need this park. We [have] been hanging out and playing handball here for so long, and the other courts are deep, most of them are full and it take forever to get a game going." Why couldn’t they just break the park down in sections, instead of closing the whole thing at once? For example, rebuilding the swing area but leaving the courts open.

It's true with the recent closure of the local park a lot of kids are going to different parks a few blocks away to burn off stream from their mountains of homework. Being kids is important for their process of growing up. We don’t need our local children all stressed out before they even start working. A local teen relates: “look man I have a ... load of homework, this is so unfair my mother doesn’t let me go to the [nearest open] park, she says that where all the local bad kids go and play and it's too far...she goes on a rant about getting kidnapped and the recent crimes.” When I ask a local parent, she responded with “My kid doesn’t like going outside, always at home playing his video games. I wish he would go out and play, he's just using [the park's extended closure] as an excuse to stay indoors all day.” With a local park closed a lot of the excersise that local kids should be having is being taken away simply because now some local children aren't motivated to go out and play. Another parent said, “look, I not taking my little girl to that other park, all the teenagers go and hang other there. At least in this park the smaller kids had somewhere safe to play.” We need this park to be opened as soon as possible for the children, who are the future of our community, for better or worse.

Empty and Unused.

We need updated playgrounds but why take it all down at once? Why couldn't they create a step-by-step plan? I hope the park is open and ready hopefully next year late winter.

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