Sunday, August 15, 2010

The ongoing problem of the Morgan Park water feature going featureless

City Parks blog has a prescription for successful parks that applies to a relatively news feature at Morgan Park:
For city parks to be successful, they need great water features. Yet it takes money to maintain them, and neglecting such facilities can make a real negative impression on visitors and residents.
A fountain installed last year at Morgan Park--later than originally planned--worked well for the October 2009 opening ceremony, attended by council members, Vice Mayor, and German dignitaries. It functioned normally for a few weeks after that.

Then as time passed the water flowed or it didn't. If Metro kept the level high enough, the street-side spigots would issue water. When they didn't water failed to issue forth. After a while the water level would drop more and water would stop flowing down the channel adjoining the park trail. Periodically someone would increase the water level and every part of the thing flowed. But more times it didn't.

The feature has been working less and less lately. I cannot remember the last time water dropped out of the street-side spigots.

I'm not going to call the Morgan Park fountain great. So, maybe it wouldn't have left a positive impression on park visitors and residents even if it had operated well. However, it is not clear that Metro ever gave it a fighting chance. Many times it limps along with slapdash that makes a negative impression on this resident. I would consider Metro's upkeep and maintenance of the feature to border on neglect. Metro put the feature in on its own initiative and it should take more initiative in keeping the water flowing.

Lately, a homeless man has taken up residence on the benches at the bottom basin. The trash can overflows with meal rubbish, including single serving cereal boxes, yogurt cups, and coke cans. Parks should increase its trash pick-up with the new resident so that the overflowing garbage does not match the negativity of a poorly functioning fountain.

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