Poop, fences, movies, high end flower theft highlight June meeting of Friends of Overington Park

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The Friends of Overington Park met at 7:00 pm this past Wednesday to discuss park business.  The ongoing battle against dog poop rages on.  The Friends have been proactively approaching dog walkers asking if they’re planning on picking up after their dog.  There was a feeling that most visitors are ignorant of the fact that it’s the law that you need to pick up after your dog.  One dog walking visitor has started to as a result.  They want to work with Barbara McCabe at Parks and Rec to get “curb your dog” signs set up.

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Movie night returns to the park this summer.  The fee for each movie night is $600.  The first, Thursday July 18th, is being sponsored by Philip Balderston, owner of the adjacent Parkside Apartments.  Suggestions for the move included Brave, but the title is still up for debate.  The second movie night will be on Thursday August 15th.  Being sponsored by 179th State Representative James Clay, in conjunction with a child safety night, the movie is going to be The Avengers.  Further discussions centered on whether they should give out food for movie night or sell it.  The group hasn’t sold food in the past but have been advised that it’s used as a fundraising option for other groups and is considering it.  Someone mentioned you need a permit to sell food, that statement was countered with a comment that you need a permit even to give food away.

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Two members of The Friends have received robo-calls from the city as a result of putting up flyers on poles around the streets near the park advertising park events.  Diane Kunze thought it was ridiculous, saying the group puts up flyers two weeks before the event and takes them down two days after.  They think they may be getting targeted by vengeful park haters.

It was noted that John Marshall Elementary School and Frankford Friends were using the park for activities before the year ended.  This is noted with delight because it speaks to the good health of the park that schools will allow children into it.

There has been the usual vandalism of the plants.  Some accounts say as much as 60% of the plants they plant are destroyed, and gleefully replanted.  They think there’s a rogue gardener poaching their rare and more expensive plants.  A variegated blue lace cap hydrangea, retailing for $25 and planted in the crescent near Pilling St was dug up with a shovel.  This has happened before.

A milkweed has been planted on the northern side of the tool shed as a weigh station for migrating monarch butterflies.

Bike cops have been seen visiting the park and writing up vagrants and scaring away mischief makers.

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The fence separating Parkside Apartments with the park is collapsing again.  Apartment residents are hopping the fence to get into the park and destroying the fence.  The park group would like the fence maintained to help control park access and cut down on crime and vagrancy.

The Friends of Overington Park will meet again in July.