Jackson’s Ella Sharp Park is a place where residents can exercise, enjoy nature and attend community events. But lately, City staff have noticed an increase in people using the park as a dumping ground for trash and yard waste, along with drivers damaging lawns by taking vehicles off streets. Wanting to prevent further harm to the park, the City is asking residents to be on the look-out for illegal activity and report it to police.
The Parks and Recreation Department has seen an increase in damage to Ella Sharp Park over the past year. In recent months, parks staff have found large amounts of trash dumped illegally along streets in the park, including a large couch. This past fall, more than two dozen yard waste bags full of leaves were discarded in a creek. Some of the biggest damage to the park has been done by people taking large trucks off streets and into green space, tearing up grass and causing big ruts.
Ella Sharp Park is the City’s flagship park and the largest in the Jackson area. Parks and Recreation Director Kelli Hoover says it’s disheartening to see the ongoing damage. “Cleaning up trash and repairing the park takes staff away from other duties and takes away from the resident experience of using this beautiful park,” Hoover said. “Reporting illegal activity when you see it happening will make sure our park remains a safe space for everyone to enjoy.”
The Jackson Police Department asks residents to call 911 if they witness any illegal dumping or off-roading in the park. Residents who discover trash or vandalism after it happens should report it to the Parks and Recreation Department using the “Report a Concern” feature on the City website, cityofjackson.org.