CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A notable line in the patriotic song “America the Beautiful” talks about amber waves of grain. But while the view of fields maintained by the city of Cleveland conjures up that song, there is nothing beautiful about ball fields with grass two feet tall.
Daryl Lehman posted pictures to give a perspective to the situation: Kids standing in the grass, then kneeling in it, and finally laying down, almost disappearing.
“We have little kids running through here. There’s needles and stuff in the grass, broken glass. My sisters dog got his paw cut by running through the grass,” worries Laura Aquila, the block’s club president in the area.
Aquila is fed up, especially since just a couple of weeks ago, Mayor Frank Jackson was here for a Clean Cleveland kickoff with a message: Things are gonna change. Aquila says they haven’t.
“How can we do much of anything when our parks look like total crap, you know, and It’s a shame,” added Aquila.
The real bottom line are the baseball fields. Right after Memorial Day, leagues begin, but how? Enter social media and Lehman’s pictures.
After the weekend’s social media posts, word spread quickly that a news story was in the works. Bright and early Monday, out of thin air, heavy duty mowers and weed whackers appeared. Workers had a lot of work to do.
Granted it has been wet, but if suburbs can get the job done, why can’t Cleveland?
The infields have their own issues, and even when grass is mowed, clumps left behind can kill grass beneath.
At Crossburn Park, conditions were just as bad. The same was true at Gilmore Park.
Councilman Brian Kazy vows to have the fields ready for play next week.