Those who know my wife, Victoria, have come to realize that she’s been involved in many a project over the years. Groups, organizations…where there’s a hand to be raised to volunteer, she’s been there. (I guess I have to quit holding her hand so much, ’cause mine goes up with hers)
One of her passion projects has been volunteer coordinator at Bergen Place Park in Ballard. It’s one of those places that most people may walk by and not give a second thought. But for years, she’s organized volunteers once each month to clean, weed, paint….whatever needs to be done to keep it up. These days, that kind of maintenance is so low on the city’s totem pole, it won’t happen without grass roots folks.
But an on-going and increasingly worsening problem has hit a boiling point. What started out as the park being an occasional sleeping point for a homeless person has turned into a gathering place for homeless people and drug dealers.
Victoria went to the Ballard Council last week to point out the dilemma. Police have been notified with, so far, no changes. Merchants were told if they wanted to hire some off-duty cops, they’d be provided at $150 an hour. In the meantime, it’s not hard for neighbors living in the area to take pictures of drug deals in the park, see people having sex in the bushes, beer bottles every where, etc. A park that was dedicated by the actual King of Norway years ago, that is proud remnant of Ballard’s strong Scandinavian heritage, has been reduced to being a drug deal den, flophouse and restroom.
More details and a discussion are available at myballard.com on page 2.
It would be easy for a lot of people to say, “I give up”, but Victoria doesn’t have that phrase in her vocabulary (English or Norwegian) and I just wanted to write how proud I am of her. Determination…..or stubbornness….it’s all good.
I’m with you all the way on this one, Sweetie.
Victoria, we could always threaten them with servings of lutefisk.