HARRISON COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - "It's been so bad over time, that they won't let their kids go,"
Parks are meant to be a safe haven for kids to play in the summer, but recently residents of Clarksburg have noticed unwanted visitors in one of their local parks.
One couple, who wished to remain anonymous, have seen Harrison Street park change over the years- they say things have gone downhill since the loss of a park director program.
"It kept everybody's kid occupied for the day, they did activities, gave the kids a snack,"
Since the park is less monitored residents say it has become a hot spot for homelessness and drug activity.
"People won't let their kids go there because we have so many backpackers sleeping there at night and drug addicts,"
While this activity has mainly been at night- it gives pause to parents and guardians about letting their kids walk to the park alone.
"I don't want to let my grandson go down there and play by himself because, I don't know who might be down there,"
In addition to fearing who might be at the park, there'a also a fear of what could be left behind.
"You still find needles everywhere," said the resident "They just toss them out the window, use them and give them a toss,"
"I would have a fit if my grandson was stuck with a needle,"
The neighbors, who have lived in the area for years, say they think the park attracts these people because it's less monitored.
"They think it's a safe haven for them because no one is gonna look for them there,"
Living just up the street- these neighbors say they have cameras in their backyard-one security measure that could help make Harrison Street park a safer place to play.
City park officials say they will be reaching out to Clarksburg police to try to address the problems in the park and make sure it is safe.
Due to lack of demand, the summer park program has been reduced to exclusively to the VA park.