Some People Concerned with Tall Weeds at Martin Park

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some people are avoiding a few local parks, saying weeds and landscaping are too tall. We looked into the issue to find out how often these areas are maintained and how the parks are supposed to look.

Fishing at Martin Park in Loves Park is popular but it's not always easy. A fisherman we saw there today says all the green is in the way.

Another local, Carl Rundblade, remembers a much different Martin Park from years ago.

"It was clear, of course you had trees along the riverbank which is natural, but the weeds and stuff, there's no reason to let them get as high as they have; they used to keep it trimmed real nice," said Rundblade.

Another concern is seeing the river. The park district trims in front of the benches so you can see straight ahead but if you look to your left or right, trees and plants block the view. But the Rockford Park District says there's a good reason for the vegetation.

"A lot of the areas are for habitat, we're losing a lot of our natural habitat. Some of it is for stream bank, holding back the stream bank. Some of it also provides cover for fish as well as shade for aquatic life," said David Spencer, manager of parks and horticulture for the Rockford Park District.

The park district maintains 177 sites with monthly inspections. In the meantime, they're looking to the community.

"We maintain such a large area and a lot of passive space sometimes, we'll have to rely on the public to give us feedback," said Spencer.

People can call the park district to let them know of any problem areas. Rundblade says after he called and complained crews came out and cut down paths in front of the benches.

You can contact the Rockford Park District at 815-987-8800.

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