CLEVELAND – A state representative is calling for change at Edgewater Park, citing questionable conditions and a lack of police presence.
“It is a legacy for our children, I grew-up riding my bicycle to this park from W. 90th Street, my children have grown-up coming to this park,” said Nickie Antonio, District 13.
On Wednesday, Rep. Antonio took FOX 8 on a tour to show what she considers the deplorable conditions at the lakefront park which is operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“You know, if graffiti stands and broken things, broken equipment, broken tables, trash all over, the message to people is – this is a dump,” said Antonio. “This place, these restrooms, not only are they not – they don’t feel safe – they certainly aren’t in working order.”
The state legislator has been hearing from residents in her district who are concerned about a lack of care at the park.
“I’m afraid to get in the water, I don’t know what’s in the water – so other than that, I just come here to walk and a lot of stuff is all over, like debris” said Cleveland resident Ana Rodriguez.
Antonio is also concerned about a lack of police or park ranger presence.
“Oh, I haven’t seen none today. No one,” said Billy Rodriguez.
According to a statement from the ODNR, “people can expect to see a greater presence in law enforcement at Lakefront State Parks due to the department’s collaborative approach to patrolling state owned and operated lands. Wildlife, Watercraft and Forestry officers, along with State Park officers will work together to ensure public safety in the parks,” said Matt Eiselstein.
According to Rep. Antonio, the state is now determining future control of the park which could be given to the Metroparks or Port Authority.
In the meantime, she doesn’t want it neglected anymore.
“There’s a lot that could be done to make this park much better and much more user friendly, family friendly,” said Antonio. “And certainly for many people in our city, this is the place where they spend their summer, this is their access to the lake.”
On Thursday, Rep. Antonio will be taking officials from the ODNR on a guided tour of the park.
Two other Cuyahoga County beaches were listed among some of the nation’s dirtiest. Click here for more.