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Stopping a trash issue at a Harrisburg Park before it becomes a problem

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Before littering becomes a big problem in a newly renovated Harrisburg park, city officials are urging people to take community ownership. They're asking everyone to treat the park as if it's their own.

The Cloverly Heights Park was the first of five Harrisburg Parks being renovated to be completed. A problem that was discussed before the newly renovated park opened about two weeks ago was littering. It's an issue that's slowly creeping its way back into the park.

"I don't want to see trash where kids are playing," said Kevin Sanders, Harrisburg Parks and Recreation Director.

Sanders says he's come to visit since the park's opening and found trash, like plastic soda cups and potato chip bags. WIth one of four trash cans within a few steps from the play area, he says it's disheartening to find these items.

"We really want people to embrace it but we want it them to treat the park correctly. Show that level of respect," said Sanders. "But for me it's throwing things in the trash and keeping the park nice. Not climbing on the amenities that aren't play equipment."

The park was built with a priority to be eco-friendly with rain gardens. To help bring a sense of community ownership to the kids and people who use the park, a block party was held to inform people about the project and encourage them to help pick up trash anytime they see it in the park.

"The park is the community's," said Sanders. "It's not my park it's not this person's park it's everybody's park."

Three other parks are expected to reopen once renovations are complete by the end of this month.