Windsor resident Michael Kozma lived in public housing near Alton C. Parker Park for 17 years starting around the age of three.
He fondly remembers playing in the park on Brodhead Street with friends, enjoying the playground, shooting hoops on a basketball court that he says "had 100 kids in it every single day" and even playing on a water slide in the park.
Now, however, Kozma says the sight of Alton C. Parker Park — named after a Windsor police officer who became Canada's first black detective in 1942 — breaks his heart.
"There's been no work done here in 20 years," he said, while pointing to an aged, moss-covered bench.
And Kozma's not the only Windsorite concerned about the state of the park.
Connie Vozza has lived near the park for approximately 15 years. She remembers the park as a local attraction that was full of people during summer and was busy even during parts of winter.
"It's not an attraction anymore," she said. "And the parks department doesn't seem to want to put anything into it, other than right now they're fixing up the one building that took care of the water and everything like that."
Vozza said she too feels sad about the current state of the park.
"With a park, you'd think that people would want to go there," she said. "But they don't, because … people don't think that there's anything to do in this area."
Click the player below to watch CBC Windsor's video story on concerns about Alton C. Parker Park:
Fixes coming over next few years, says city parks manager
James Chacko, senior manager of parks and recreation with the City of Windsor, says that fixes are on their way.
"Alton Parker is a neighbourhood park and the playground structure in it is scheduled to be replaced within the next three to five years," he said. "All of our playgrounds are on an approximately 20-year life cycle, so that allows us to replace six units or so per year."
"Sometimes, some of our parks, just in terms of how the ongoing maintenance is, things from time to time are not kept up quite to the standard as we would all hope," he said.
Chacko said approximately 25 parks are set to receive new playgrounds between 2022 and 2024, including Alton C. Parker Park.
"Unfortunately, you have to be a little patient with that," he said. "It's certainly not that Alton Parker has been forgotten, it's just a function of how things are."
The City of Windsor recently unveiled 27 parks with brand new playground structures.