North Richmond playground demolished; residents want replacement

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been several weeks since Richmond City crews tore down a playground in a northside neighborhood.

Neighbors say they don’t know why and want answers.

8News’ Aaron Thomas spoke with residents about this.

What used to be a space full of life has now become an eyesore along 3rd Avenue. Many families with children say they’re disheartened by the sudden closure of the Third Avenue Tot Lot.

“Nothing else for us to do around here now that the park is gone,” Cynthia Williams, a resident who lives in the area said.

This has left Williams and the four children she babysits searching for other ways to have fun.

“This is the only closest playground to us besides the school, but this is the area playground, so we come here,” Williams said.

Slides and swings once filled the space. Now caution tape and a sandbox are all that’s left.

Officials from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities say they tore down the equipment due to it being unsafe.

11-year-old Dimeka Reed holds fond memories there.

“The swing, playing hide and go seek with my sisters,” she said were her favorites at the park.

Residents living nearby held a series of meetings throughout the month of June, getting a sense of what they’d like to see fill the space.

“I would like to see some new slides and a playhouse,” Dimeka said.

Neighbors say they’re hopeful the space will make a comeback.

It’s something many families and residents like Williams say is important to give children a safe space.

“I would like to see it come back, you know?” Williams said. “So kids have somewhere to go close to home.”

Neighbors tell 8News that the city is in talks with playground vendors to determine how to transform the space into a playground once again.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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