Neighbors push city to clean up dilapidated crimeridden Water Works Park

first_img• What: Meeting on Water Works Park improvements.• When: 7 p.m. Nov. 19.• Where: Washington State School for the Blind, 2214 E. 13th St., Vancouver.Pepper Kim remembers a time about 20 years ago when she took her kids to play at Water Works Park in Vancouver’s Central Park neighborhood.“It didn’t have the reputation it has now,” said Kim, who is vice president of the neighborhood association. “It was a really nice park. People had barbecues there. The reputation now is drug dealing. They’ve had violence. It’s kind of a scary place to go. I wouldn’t take my grandkids there.”Visitors to the park are subject to aggressive panhandling. Illegal camping, tagging and vandalism are rampant, and there is a constant influx of reports of drug dealing on park grounds.Residents also have been robbed and assaulted in the park.Leaders with local neighborhoods surrounding the park, including Central Park, Maplewood, Rose Village, Fourth Plain Village and Harney Heights, would like to see the city take steps to revitalize the park as it did with downtown’s centerpiece Esther Short Park.“We need to look at ways to attract more good citizens just to fill the park up and not leave a vacuum,” said Harney Heights resident Larry Good. He also owns Southwest Washington Surplus, which is steps away from the park.last_img read more