Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana said their park system is being examined to see whether they are actually serving the residents, in light of the decreased population of the city.
Parks Superintendent McKenya Dilworth said as many as 20 of the city’s 57 parks could be allowed to revert to their natural state, although some restoration work has recently taken place to restore neglected, overgrown parks.
Some former parkland could be used as green infrastructure, for example, to help reduce the amount of water going into the city’s combined sewer stormwater system. This would help with the efforts to restore Lake Michigan, since such badly-engineered (but common) systems discharge raw sewage into the lake during heavy rainfall.
Other decommissioned parks might be used as wetland mitigation to offset the impacts of development. In such cases, developers would provide money to help maintain the green space. Some of the money then could be combined with grant funds for such projects as removal of invasive species.
Photo of Gary Centennial Landmark by Takingactioningary via Wikipedia.