Neighbors and Friends,
Some of you in the Bloomingdale community have either heard about, read about, or been affected by the recent rash of disruptive behaviors by a former resident claiming – among other things -- ownership and governance of Crispus Attucks Park. His sudden onslaught of bizarre, sometimes contradictory and often divisive statements, coupled with destructive actions toward the park itself and hostility toward the people who live around it, have unfortunately become more serious with time.
By his own admission, he has sought to disrupt the neighborhood and cause a disturbance by blasting music and starting ``camp fires.`` He has driven his vehicle onto the park several times and taken other actions that do not display a sense of care for this beautiful park. In addition, by claiming personal ownership of the park, he apparently would like to take what is shared with the community and claim it as his own. Let it be known that in over a decade – by his own choice, he has shown no interest in or support for the park. These facts and his actions, along with ugly statements not worth repeating, seek to disrupt and divide rather than unite the community. So, let`s set the record straight.
Crispus Attucks Park [www.crispusattuckspark.org] is owned by the neighbors that surround it, which we think of as our community. It is managed on behalf of the community by an active, unpaid, all-volunteer board that is duly elected by the community to take care of this important asset. The board consists of a diverse set of citizens from different age groups, backgrounds and ethnicities. Some have been Bloomingdale residents for 10, 20, or 30 years. They remain highly engaged in park activities. Others are new. The board – this cross-section of the community, is a team that comes together frequently to pull weeds and plant flowers. Neighbors and friends have worked tirelessly over the past 10 to 15 years to revive and bring back to life a space that was dilapidated and invited an unsavory criminal element into our neighborhood. A full park history is on our website.
The entire $10,000 a year operating budget for the park is raised by volunteer donations and is used to pay for the water bill, insurance, grass seed, maintenance and repairs.All of it is raised by the community and goes back into the park for the community. Together, the board and other volunteers work hard together to create a place where children can play and others can simply partake in some peaceful enjoyment.
Some specific accomplishments of the park and its board include:
·Welcoming a local school to use the park as its Earth Day project
·Working with the local teen males to teach them how to perform landscaping work and operate landscaping equipment
·Taken youth to the play ``Emmet Till Meets Anne Frank``
·Obtaining laptops for three local teen males and teaching them how to use them
·Mentoring local youth on how to apply for jobs online
·Providing transportation to interview for jobs in person
·Organizing a basketball game between local youth and the police department
·Teaching local teen male volunteers how to organize and plan events
·Hosting an annual community day and yard sale –9 years running
·Even hosting a wedding!
The park is a symbol of a community joined together. Despite a lack of resources in some years, committed volunteers like you, kept the park going and made it beautiful…for you.
We appreciate the patience of neighbors who live directly on the park as we address the rude and inconsiderate attack and disruption of one person with a hateful agenda. The park board of directors has taken legal action and will be in court this week to try and protect our neighborhood from this menace. We are hopeful that the situation will be resolved soon and the rule of law will prevail.
Patrick Blais, President
Crispus Attucks Development Corporation
Crispus Attucks Park