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Parks department readies for summer

Parks department readies for summer
Parks department readies for summer | Parks department readies for summer
Staff Reporter
Ken Morris is just about ready for the summer.
He is the director of Union City’s Parks & Recreation Department, which is responsible for all the city’s outdoor recreation facilities.
Morris’ crews are responsible for four city cemeteries as well as seven city parks. That translates to about 350 acres under his jurisdiction.
This summer, the city’s parks department has taken on the additional responsibility of maintaining the new Veterans Park on the north side of town.
Morris said his crews are working split shifts in order to handle all the work that needs to be done in the city’s parks and cemeteries. He also said some seasonal workers may be hired this summer to help.
“We’re getting there,” Morris said. “We’re geared up, with our main focus on Veterans Park this spring.”
The city’s newest park features a picnic pavilion, a walking track and a pier over the small lake.
A grand opening is scheduled for May 8, but already local residents have been using the walking track.
In addition to the new Veterans Park and the city’s cemeteries, crews have been hard at work at Graham Park.
Mowing and weedeating crews have been working for the past few weeks preparing the picnic areas in Graham Park in preparation for all the end-of-school trips that are scheduled around this time of year. On average, there are 300 reservations made each year for picnic areas in city parks.
There is also the problem of vandalism that Morris’ crews have to deal with every spring.
“It’s pathetic,” Morris said.
He described vandalism at Graham Park as a “big problem.”
As for the walking track in Graham Park, Morris said “It’s in good shape.”
Last fall, Morris worked with the city’s Public Works Department on some major drainage improvements to the east side of the park that have helped alleviate flooding problems. Due to the work that was done to address the flooding problems in the park, there hasn’t been the standing water issue that has been a major problem in the park in past years.
“The water is draining a lot faster,” Morris said.
He explained that some minor adjustments are being made to the park’s new drainage system, but so far the system has worked to more efficiently drain floodwaters.
Also, some work has been done at the Playground 2000 complex in Graham Park, including a new layer of mulch.
In downtown Union City, work is continuing on Kiwanis Park and the Kiwanis Park fountain.
“We’ve got some mulching to do around the playground area, but we’re about ready,” Morris said.
Crews were out Monday afternoon mowing and weedeating in East View Cemetery off Miles Avenue. During the summer mowing season, Morris said families with graves in the cemetery need to remember to move their flowers, vases and other decorations so they are not damaged by weedeaters and mowers.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at
Published in The Messenger 4.24.12