Location: On Joy Avenue, across the street from Joy Court, but I am not fooled!
Size of Park: Medium small
Approximate Age of Patrons: Just my age
Topics of Conversation: n/a
Stray Dogs Seen: none
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: no parking lot
Perceived Safety: medium low
Number of Gunshots Heard: none
Dog Friendliness: I'm not sure why you would want to bring a dog here, but you could
Number of pitbulls sighted: none
Incorporation of Local History: none
Recommended Patrons: People who would like to be suicidally depressed but aren't currently; people who reminisce about the old days when slides were metal and burnt your legs.
There's garbage everywhere. There's, like, three trees, which are close together, though that somehow makes them look lonelier and more isolated. There's a huge stretch of grass, but rather than being inviting, it just seems like someone got tired of designing the park and figured they'd pencil it in later. There are ruins of an old swing set, and the whole thing is surrounded by a fence, parts of which are lined with barbed wire.
Nothing says, "Welcome to our lovely park. You're safe here!" like barbed wire.
Now, I found all the garbage annoying, don't get me wrong. But at least it gave clues as to how people in the neighborhood would like to use the park. The garbage was full of plates and silverware and other obvious picnic accoutrements. But is there one damn table in the whole park? Even under the pavilion?
Okay, Metro Parks, if you're paying attention, the people who use Tom Joy Park could use more garbage cans and some tables — and if you're feeling generous, a grill. Other parks have these things. No reason Tom Joy can't.
Also, I get that there are good reasons why a park might be fenced. But we, as a city, need to give more consideration to how we fence our parks, when we fence them. Tom Joy Park is fenced in such a manner that it basically begs you to keep out. And I've noticed that you can pretty much tell how shitty a neighborhood is by how high the fence around the park is.
Well, Tom Joy Park has a high fence, but there's a gap in the fence about every 50 feet. So it's not clear what the fence is for, except to train neighborhood kids to get used to institutions.
This park has the potential to be a great little jewel in this neighborhood, but it could use, maybe, a councilmember or some neighbors advocating for it. Seriously, a few tables, a few more garbage cans, take down the fence, stick in a couple of more trees ... and that's a lovely park.
But right now, it's just depressing.
Also, right next to the park is a dead school. This is the second empty school I've seen in as many weeks while reviewing parks. In a perfect world, those would be neighborhood schools kids could walk to. But, okay, we don't live in a perfect world.
If those schools aren't going to be used as schools or community centers or something, they should be torn down. It's not fair to neighborhoods to have these big dead hearts right at their centers.
Anyway, Tom Joy Park. So depressing, but so much potential.