(BALTIMORE – October 7, 2022) – We recently hosted community stakeholders on a tour of the current conditions at Troy Brailey Easterwood Park. Since 2012, Omega Baltimore Foundation has managed and
operated Easterwood Recreation Center in a public-private partnership with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP). The purpose of the tour was to expose the public to the critical capital improvements needed to improve the current infrastructure safety of the park.
In attendance were Coppin Heights/AshCo East Community Association President, Shelia Davis; Muslim Community leader and President of Keys Empower, Mujahid Muhammed; Mothers on the Move President and community resident Darlene Cain; along with BCRP Director Reginald Moore and BCRP Parks Chief Ronald Rudisill. In addition, 40th State Legislative District Senator Antonio Hayes, Baltimore City District 7 Councilman James Torrance, and several community residents were also in attendance.
Easterwood Park has been in existence since 1910 and the steps and walkways have never been improved since that time.
The entrance steps at three locations are the original steps. They are deteriorating and in need of repair or
replacement. Areas of the original football field concrete bleachers are broken and metal jagged rebar is exposed presenting a clear and present danger to park patrons. Tour attendees were told in advance to be careful during the walking tour to avoid potential injury. The cracked walkways also present a hazard to neighboring residents who want to enjoy their walk through Eastwerwood Park.
In the summer of 2013, Under Armour and NBA Fit refurbished one of the two basketball courts, however, the fencing surrounding the court was never fully replaced, and if a ball rolls to the football bleachers a player could be injured or impaled from the protruding metal from the concrete bleachers. The tour highlighted the two baseball diamonds are facing the wrong direction. If a ball is hit it could damage the property and cars of Moreland Avenue residents.
Another major area of concern was the playground. Constructed in 2010, the playground is out of date with apparatus in disrepair, swings missing and the ground surface has major holes under the swings, creating a hazardous condition for child usage.
The 7.4 acre Troy Brailey Easterwood Park, created over a century ago, is a total recreation park and some of the aged trees are dead and branch limbs drop during heavy storms creating a hazardous environment. Trees have fallen on the fencing surrounding the park and it presents an unsafe condition, as well.
Safety issues were the major theme of the park tour. The individuals present actually represent members of that community including neighborhood association leaders, residents, and other key stakeholders. The issues discussed were much larger than a single interest group’s motivations and agenda. The defects pointed out during the tour were about placing resident safety at the forefront, not the needs of special interest with no direct connection to this community footprint.
This notion would not be tolerated at Patterson Park or other parks in the city, why is it tolerated in West Baltimore?
President, Omega Baltimore Foundation, Inc.