TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Located in North Tyler, Fun Forest Park is often buzzing with activity, but some who use the city-funded facilities say that the park's condition is unacceptable.
"You try to get people involved in the community," says Tia Jackson who coaches at Fun Forest. "But you're embarrassed to have them come out here."
In 2017, Shacamia Goodwin started the Rose City Baseball Softball Association for children who live near Fun Forest, but because of what she calls the park's tattered state, Goodwin says it's been difficult.
"We hosted a tournament at Fun Forest," says Goodwin. "We had, once again, no restrooms, bleachers that had been broken down for about five weeks now, they are taped down with caution tape, we had no plug that worked, no outside water."
Goodwin says some teams have turned down the opportunity to play against her league at Fun Forest just because of the many problems there compared to at other Tyler Parks.
"I just want the city to give us the equal opportunity to play ball," says Goodwin. "I'm pretty embarrassed when teams come here and they can't go to the restroom or they're leaving because of the way Fun Forest looks."
Russ Jackson, Parks Director for the City of Tyler, says that all parks in the city are maintained equally, regardless of their location
"I look at every park the same," says Jackson. "We just have some parks that are busier and heavier used, but they are not getting the attention they need financially."
Jackson says the department has a long list of broken things to fix at all of the Tyler parks.
"It is our job to do due diligence to take care of the parks, but part of the problem is funding, "says Jackson. "We do have a low tax rate, but we have to operate off of that tax rate."
Jackson says the restrooms at Fun Forest were closed due to vandalism. Portable bathrooms have been placed at the park in the meantime, but Goodwin argues that they are rarely clean, saying a lot of girls "don't want to use them."
The city says repairing the restrooms, benches, and non-operating scoreboards at Fun Forest are on their list of things to be fixed by next month.
"With the rains that we have been having, there are a lot of things that are behind schedule," says Jackson.
Jackson added that community members also need to take responsibility for the condition of Tyler parks by properly discarding trash and reporting vandalism.
Fun Forest is slated for around $1 million in improvements in the city's next budget cycle that includes repairing all benches and fields.
The City of Tyler also plans to make improvements to the swimming pool at Fun Forest Park along with all of the tennis courts and bathrooms at parks throughout the city.
For more information about the Rose City Baseball Softball Association visit their Facebook page.