Marco Island News, Island Parks on the Decline

Many of our readers have requested that something be done about the condition of our parks that are being cared for by the City of Marco Island. The following story pertains to our local parks that are enjoyed by both our residents and visitors alike. 

Most of the complaints that we have received are about the condition of the grass and even more relevant, the local fire ant population.   M.I.C.A.'s  Resident Beach is 99.9 percent free of fire ants and the condition of the turf grass is top of the line.  Local mom's feel free to allow their kids to roll and frolic in the grass without the worry that their children will look like they have the chicken pox after being bitten by fire ants.

M.I.C.A.'s Resident's Beach, (pictured left) is an example of what a park or a public area should look like said many of the parents who have had children bitten by fire ants.  

We spoke to  Jack Simmon who is one of the greeters/I.D. checkers at the entrance to the Residents Beach and asked him how Residents Beach is kept in such good condition and  free of fire ants.  Mr. Simmon had the following answer, "Dennis McCann is the Manager and is here every day checking on things.  He keeps a good eye on every aspect of  Residents Beach."  Mr. Simmon was also quick to point out the other half of the team that is responsible for the overall condition, Mr. McCann's wife, Ruth.  Ruth is the Executive Director of M.I.C.A and, from the appearance of Residents Beach, doing a fine job!  Hats off to the McCann's and the rest of the Board of Directors of the Marco Island Civic Association.  You are to be commended for a job well done.  According to Simmon, the landscape care is provided by Creative Cutters who is also very capable if you take a minute to look at the lush thick grass.

The condition of the City of Marco parks appears to be on the decline, according to all persons questioned. Understandably, residents do not pay an annual fee to use the parks, however, this does not negate the need for a nice, semi fire ant free area for the kids and adults to enjoy.  Mackle Park, the park that has the most amenities, features a kids playground, lake, sports field and a nice building for meetings and indoor activities, along with a giant resident population of fire ants.  The turf grass is composed of mainly weeds, and the sports field that had planted grass, is now becoming overtaken by weeds.  We do not know if the budget for our parks has been cut, or perhaps the parks have been given second stage to another project, however, it is a common feeling that they are being neglected.

Plummer Park (pictured left) located on North Barfield Drive features a small pond, and a very nice bronze statue of a boy on a turtle with a little girl in front. (The little girl is missing as of this weekend). This new addition to Plummer Park was added last fall.  It includes a sandbox for the kids surrounded by nice paver blocks.  When it was finished last fall, it was the jewel of the park.  Now, the nice St. Augustine turf is thin and yellow with weeds starting to get a foot hold.  Soon, the nice new grass will be gone along with the other "good" grass areas in the park.  This park also features fire ant farms that are capable of taking a small child into the mound to be eaten and never seen again (just an exaggeration).

It is a shame that we do not have parks where we can lay back in the grass with our kids and look at the clouds and imagine images other than fire ants getting a firm grip on our skin!

Take the time to call or write the City of Marco to voice your complaints, if not, nothing will be done.  We hope that someone takes notice to a vital piece of Marco Island, our children's playgrounds.

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