The lack of maintenance at this ball field is causing concern for one resident in the McKay area.

Lack of maintenance leaves Prince Rupert kids without options to play

A homeowner is fed up with what she considers to be a lack of property maintenance by BC Housing and the City of Prince Rupert.

A Prince Rupert homeowner is fed up with what she considers to be a lack of property maintenance by BC Housing and the City of Prince Rupert.

Diane Green said the grass on BC Housing’s Kootenay Avenue and McKay Street properties has grown wild, with other site maintenance also lacking. She said before the M’akola Housing Society becoming property managers, the grass had been maintained.

“For the little toddlers, the grass is up to their butts. They can’t even walk in it,” Green said.

“The problem is that there are young families living there, most of them single parents with kids, and they’ve got no place to play.”

Green said BC Housing’s lack of maintenance isn’t the city’s fault, but said it could be enforcing bylaws.  She said the city is also contributing to the problem by not maintaining its baseball field on Kootenay and McKay, which has tall grass, small shrubs and trees growing within it.

Green said she watched a group of five children playing scrub baseball in the field, with the younger kids catching the ball and hiding in the trees with it. There is nothing for children between the ages of eight and 12 to do outside on their own, she said.

In addition to lawn maintenance, Green said gravel used in parking lots over the winter hasn’t been cleaned up this year, with Green noting it was sad to see how one family got rid of the mess.

“For weekend recreation with her children, a mother had them with little plastic pails and shovels and while she was hosing the parking lot, the kids were scooping it up. If you walk past it, it’s the only clean driveway in the whole BC Housing complex,” she said.

“We are trying to attract the families that go with growth. That is just not going to happen,  … businesses have come to town and promised the city they would put in parks which never materialized. Couldn’t they clean up and sponsor a park that already exists?” said Green.

For its part, BC Housing said maintenance of the site will be done soon.

“As part of the transition to property management by M’akola Housing a new landscape firm has been engaged and have been working on other areas of the site,” said spokesperson Fegus McCann

“The first cut will happen this week and then bi-weekly.”

Both the City of Prince Rupert and BC housing did not immediately return request for comment from the Northern View.