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Weekend event seeks change in perception of Parker Park

Posted at 5:05 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 23:46:32-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An organization called Take Back the Bluff wants to change the perception that people have that Parker Park in Flour Bluff is a dirty, dangerous place.

They're doing that by hosting the "Take Back the Park" event from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

"I think you're going to see families just playing and having fun," said Flour Bluff Citizens Council President Shirley Thornton said. "(They'll be) enjoying each other's company -- enjoying what we have."

Thornton spoke on behalf of Take Back the Bluff's leader, because he was out of town Friday. She said, in the past, the park has certainly had its problems.

"(The homeless were seen) urinating in the park, defecating, sleeping in the park after hours," Thornton said. "Even during the day it's not allowed. So there were some issues with that, because the park had been just let go."

She said that really started changing when Take Back the Bluff volunteers started reporting park rule-violators to the Corpus Christi Police Department several weeks ago.

Corpus Christi City Council member at-large Paulette Guajardo said a community meeting she called last month also helped.

"I have to commend the Flour Bluff community, because they really saw the vision for the park being the people's park again," she said. "And all that happened was that our ordinances were basically enforced."

A park visitor on Friday said that enforcement has created a park that everyone can enjoy.

"We've seen some of the homeless come through, and they kind of keep to themselves, which we appreciate," said Ivonne Cardena, who was visiting Parker Park with her five children on Friday. "They don't really bother anybody. They just walk around and, maybe, sit on the benches. We haven't seen anything. We haven't felt any danger. We feel really safe here, and we really enjoy the park."