Athletic association VP & some parents concerned about conditions at Greenland Park

City says work has begun on repairing dugouts; baseball team chips in to spruce things up

Some parents voiced concerns Monday about the conditions at Greenland Park — one shared a photo of rusty equipment at the playground on Jacksonville’s Southside.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some parents voiced concerns Monday about the conditions at Greenland Park — one shared a photo of rusty equipment at the playground on Jacksonville’s Southside.

City Councilman Danny Becton told News4JAX the city is working on getting new playground equipment and fixing other issues at the park. The parents that spoke with News4JAX said the park is simply unsafe.

Terry McGriff is vice president of the Mandarin Athletic Association.

“We’re worried about the kids. We have fall season coming up pretty soon,” he said.

McGriff said that broken fences, crooked goal posts and dugouts are a few of the things he’d like repaired by the city.

In 2015, the Mandarin Athletic Association was granted a license to use the park for athletics, and McGriff said that as part of that they’re responsible for keeping up the fields, but not the equipment.

But the city says the Mandarin Athletic Association is not keeping up its end of the deal. In an email from the chief of recreation and community services to MAA, it states the fields need to be brought up to standard, free of grass and weeds within 30 days.

If the items are not repaired by July 31, the city reserves the right to terminate the contract, meaning MAA wouldn’t be able to use the fields anymore.

But McGriff said they’ve paid for field upkeep — $2,000 a month, and they just need the park equipment repaired.

“You need to look at the goal posts. We’re afraid that, you know, it’s a matter of time. If it’s not going to hurt somebody, it’s going to kill somebody,” McGriff said.

Photo shows goal post at Greenland Park.

The city said it was not given notice about items in the park not being up to par.

MAA says they just recently sent a lengthy list of needed repairs to the city and that repairs have begun on the dugout. But McGriff said a lot of the other fields still need work.

“We can’t entice families to come here because they look at our facility and take their children elsewhere,” McGriff said.

Lance Heck’s baseball team, the Arrows, plays at the park and he said his children use the playground. While repairs have begun, he said the team is helping make the park a better place.

Photo shows piece of playground equipment at Greenland Park.

“We came out to the fields. We saw the condition they were in and we reached out to the families that are part of Arrows baseball and we said, ‘Hey, we have a summer project now,” Heck said. “We’ve had families coming out here with shovels.”

Heck said the team has been fixing up one of the fields for approximately three weeks.


About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.