SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 30-acre park in Santa Fe was once a pillar of the community, but years of escalating problems have left the park in a sad state.
Litter — mainly consisting of discarded food wrappers — covers General Franklin Miles Park. There have also been liquor bottles and condoms found around the park, along with offensive graffiti covering the skate park, baseball dugouts and tunnels in the playground.
“It’s a beautiful park, just over these past few years it’s gone down,” said Ron Trujillo, a Santa Fe City Councilor who represents this district.
Trujillo himself played baseball at the park when he was a boy, and is saddened to see the state it’s in now.
“We have people sleeping in the dugouts. Unfortunately, we have people urinating and defecating in these dugouts as well…That is not good,” said Trujillo.
The city is aware of the problem. Trujillo says on Monday morning there was a group out to pick up trash and repair a water fountain. But as of Monday afternoon, there was still plenty of trash lying around.
“The trash is bad. You can just look right here,” said Trujillo as he looked down at his feet.
There are problems that will take longer to fix, like graffiti tags, weeds and the holes left behind by a years-long gopher problem.
“We’ve had a problem with pocket gophers over the past few years they’ve really infested this park,” said Trujillo.
Many people in the community hope cleaning up this park — the largest in the area — becomes a priority.
Kids playing with their mother at the park on Monday easily pointed out all the trash and graffiti they had encountered while playing earlier in the day. They also say they hope it gets cleaned up.
“Cleaner and no graffiti,” said Dominika Calibiza, when asked what she wanted the park to look like.
“That this place should be really clean,” Adisa Segovia.
Trujillo says everyone who uses the park has a responsibility to keep it clean.
“People using the park, if you have trash, use the receptacle cans,” said Trujillo.
He also says people should report the illegal or unacceptable behavior to the Santa Fe Police Department.