MACON, Ga. — Macon-Bibb County keeps searching for ways to battle illegal dump sites. Part of their efforts include community clean-ups with groups like Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful.
The group's executive director, Asha Ellen, says there's an illegal dumping problem behind the Memorial Park Recreation Center.
She says they tackled it a few months ago during a community clean-up. There's still some trash there, but Ellen says it's better now than it was. Still, she believes it has no place in Macon.
"It should also be a clean space for the students, the children and the residents of this neighborhood," she said about the recreation center.
Ellen works every day to make sure the county is a beautiful place to live. So, when she comes across illegal dump sites like the one outside Memorial, she says it's painful.
"It hurts, to be honest with you. Because children should not have to walk past trash," she said.
At March's community clean-up, the group found a lot of trash.
"Individuals in our community were illegal dumping. Issues with excessive litter," Ellen said.
Commissioner Paul Bronson was there that day. When the possibility for park improvements came up at Tuesday's commission meeting, he made a suggestion he thought could help the park and help fix the problem.
"Is there any means that we can probably utilize to say, 'Hey, we're going to put six parking spots or eight parking spots on that road?'" he asked Parks and Recreation Director Robert Walker. "People will probably avoid dumping back there if they know that people are parking back there because of the basketball court."
Walker said he'd look into it. Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful volunteer Stanley Stewart says he thinks it can work.
"This area where we are today is something that really needs to be paid close attention to," he said.
Commissioners didn't take any voting action after Walker's presentation Tuesday.
Walker says now that they've identified some possible park improvements, they need to figure out what's financially possible.
The county is looking at using money from the 2018 SPLOST to make improvements to several parks.
Other possible Memorial Park updates could include renovated basketball courts, fencing and a new multipurpose field. Commissioners also discussed adding ADA-accessible playgrounds at some parks so all children in Bibb County can play safely.
They'll continue looking at that possibility as October gets closer.