ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s a neighborhood park, in the heart of Martineztown and neighbors there want no part of it because they say it’s a dangerous mess with broken glass everywhere.
Santa Barbara Park sits across the street from San Ignacio Church and just down the hill from Albuquerque High School.
Neighbors in the area said it’s a park that causes a lot of trouble.
“The deacon at the church is always having to call police, because students ditch and come here,” Loretta Naranjo-Lopez said.
Lopez said families in the area hardly ever bring their children to the park because of how dirty and dangerous it is.
“It’s filthy,” she said. “This park was established in 1968 and the equipment at the time it was built is not considered safe now.”
The city said the park’s last renovation was in 1969.
Since then, neighbor Gabriel Escobedo, said not much has changed.
“It’s sad because it’s right in front of a church,” he said. “City workers come and change the trash but it has been like this for years.”
Broken glass all over the basketball courts and in the sand box. Neighbors said just last week someone started a fire that burned a lot of the grass at the park.
“It’s disappointing,” Lopez said. “The trash, all the glass everywhere, and I don’t know if they’re doing drugs out here but look around, it looks like it.”
KRQE News 13 found broken marijuana pipes and open condom wrappers.
Lopez said the city has been promising to revamp the park for years but nothing gets done.
The city said it plans to give the park a complete makeover soon. It said the plans are contingent on state funding, which is in short supply this year, but if the money comes through the work could start in the spring.
No date has been set.
Before KRQE News 13 left the park Thursday, a city crew showed up and got to work cleaning the park.