(Memphis) Residents in Frayser are hopeful, after a Memphis City Council Committee approved an $800,000 renovation for Denver Park.
“We fought so hard and so long to make it happen. It’s changed the whole community,” said Debra Lovelace, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.
Lovelace said the park has come a long way in the past year.
Memphis Police Community Outreach Officers worked with gang members in the area to get them to stay out of the park so that others can use it.
“We didn’t go up there. Everybody was afraid to go, even the kids,” said Lovelace.
Lovelace said MPD and others in the community have worked hard to host community events in the park but they are counting on the renovation to help them continue their work.
“New equipment like swings, slides, a pavilion, a walking trail,” said Lovelace who is optimistic that the city council will stick to their word despite the budget crunch the city is facing.
However, resident Nancy Coker said there is more work to be done in the park.
“It’s gone to the gangs now and you can’t trust anybody,” said Coker.
A few weeks ago, Coker said her 17-year-old son was robbed just outside the park.
“He started yelling threats and all this stuff and the thing that went through my head is he really going to pull the trigger,” said Thomas Coker.
“Now I come out here, watch my back and turn around 15,000 times before I do anything. I don’t leave the yard basically,” said Thomas.
Nancy has lived across from the park all of her life and is hopeful a change is coming.
“Hopefully they’ll get it taken care of,” said Coker.