Lots Of Work Ahead For Johnson Park

Monday, March 17th 2008, 7:16 pm
By: News On 6

The city of Tulsa plans to rehabilitate a park that's been the center of a hauling and grinding operation since the ice storm.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports Johnson Park is covered in mulch, but the grinders and semi's are gone and that work has been moved elsewhere.  Now the city has to plan how to repair the damage done over the next two months.

Some boys played basketball on Monday taking advantage of one the first chances for civilians to use Johnson Park.  Just Last Monday, the park was packed with equipment as the hauling and grinding operation was winding down and the focus changing for this piece of property.

"Get the park restored as we get into the spring and summer for the young people in the neighborhood," said Paul Strizek with the City of Tulsa.

But, it's already too late for a spring tradition at Johnson Park.  The little league games that would be starting here soon have been moved to other parks that are too far away for many of the regular players from the neighborhood.

"Transportation is something they can't overcome. They're just not going to be able to play this year because we can't play here," said Drew Kimmell of South Tulsa Baseball.

South Tulsa Baseball used the park for their games.  But, with some of the fields covered in mulch and the parking lot crowded with trucks, everything at the park was cancelled indefinitely.

The city plans to get in and remove the mulch, then bring in soil to level it out and sod it.  FEMA will pick up the tab, but the city isn't sure how much it will cost or how long it will take to get the job done.

"If we can't guarantee the safety of the kids getting to the fields, then we don't need to be using them," said Drew Kimmell of South Tulsa Baseball.

Kimmell says the baseball season will go on, but because of the change, his typical roster of 650 players is down about 200 players from last year.

Baseball season starts in two weeks, and the South Tulsa league will play at Chandler and Patrick Parks.  For now there is no date certain when Johnson Park will reopen to the public.

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