Oroville residents are still angry about what's happening to Riverbend Park, and many say they're even afraid to walk around.
About four months ago, we reported about a community initiative to try and find a solution to the homeless and transient problem, but people say nothing's changed, and now a woman says she found a full bag of needles.
Meanwhile, the Feather River Recreation and Parks District officials say they really need the community’s help.
“I have a granddaughter, and I wouldn't bring her here; I won't even bring my Pitbull here anymore,” said longtime Oroville resident Shannon Nielsen.
There are also a lot of broken and vandalized trash cans, homeless camps, and on Monday she found dozens of needles along a trail.
“I picked up all the needles and threw them away and I didn’t have gloves on. I kind of wish I did, but I didn't want them lying on the ground and kids getting them.”
Late September, a group got together because many felt unsafe and were angry; someone even found a needle on the children's slide, but Feather River Recreation and Parks District reps said they were in the process of revamping the park.
Tom Lando is the current interim general manager and says they'd like to do more, but they just can't because they don't have the resources.
“We're having trouble with a very thin maintenance crew just keeping up with routine maintenance,” Lando said.
He very strongly disagrees when people say the department doesn't care, they just have too few people to maintain all of the parks, which is why they're starting a community watch program.
“It is completely a volunteer program, and we would try to organize it so there are some organized schedules. We would want people to work in groups so they don't feel threatened,” he said.
He says they do their best and of course don't want to see the encampments, but having community participation is really the only way something can happen.
There will be a meeting in Riverbend Park on Sunday, February 11th at 1pm if you’re interested in learning more about the community watch program.
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