Pensacola Politics

Dog owner says he complained about bees at Bayview Park to city officials for months

May 18, 2017

“Well, I guess it takes news report on WEAR to get the city do anything,” Labrador retriever owner Mike Williamson told Inweekly yesterday. He said that he had been complaining to Parks & Rec officials for five months. Dogs were suffering bee stings on a regular basis.

“Rick, this park attracts people from all over the city,” he said. “I’ve even meet visitors from other states and countries who brought their pets there.”

Yesterday, the City issued a statement that the large dog park at Bayview Park would be closed temporarily while the bee hives were removed. The Parks & Rec Department followed up later in the day with this update:

Update on Bee Relocation at Bayview Dog Park

Today the Parks and Recreation Department asked local beekeeper Morgan Bullard with Golden Harvest Bee Farm to help relocate a hive of honeybees from a pine tree at the large dog park in Bavyiew Park. It will take a few days for the bees to be safely relocated to their new hive and in the interest of safety to park users, the large dog park will remain closed until the new hive is removed. Park officials anticipate reopening the large dog park on Tuesday, May 23rd. In the meantime the small dog park will be available for all size dogs. The City of Pensacola also offers the Bayview Dog Beach at Bayview Park as well as large and small dog parks at Roger Scott Athletic Complex.

Anyone with questions or concerns may call the Parks and Recreation Department at (850) 436-5670.

Williamson told Inweekly that he called City Hall several times about the bees. He had no confidence in the City’s 3-1-1 service.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Mr reality May 22, 2017 at 6:42 am

    People around here work hard to not work..And it shows!

  • Reply CJ Lewis May 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Last night, the city’s Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Cooper spoke to the Scenic Heights Neighborhood Association on whose board I serve. All of the regulars at the meetings are passionate about parks. Mr. Cooper said that there was only one call about this issue registered in the 3-1-1 system and that they took immediate action. To clear up the confusion, if only to check to see how things work in city hall, someone should do a public records request to review every reference to bees in the Bayview Park dog park in the last five months. As I recall, Mr. Cooper also said that the bees were not really a big issue and that some people were fine with them. In fact, the unasked and unanswered question is why no one from the Parks & Recreation Department noticed the bees on their own. In general, the city’s parks are poorly maintained. Mr. Cooper seemed to acknowledge it saying that his department’s budget is inadequate to property maintain the city’s parks system, perhaps why Hayward wants to downsize the parks system he believes to be “overbuilt.” I have heard Hayward talk about selling off parks to real estate developers. If that were a priority of the public, I bet we could get a lot of money for Bayview Park to be renamed “Bayview Estates – A Gated Community.” One issue I raised with Mr. Cooper was the seeming impotence of the city’s Parks & Recreation Board. What do they do? Seemingly not very much. Perhaps the board should be abolished or, as I propose, each Council member should make a direct appointment of one person living in their district whose regular duties would include visiting each park in their district each month and keeping the Council member informed of its condition. Last night, someone at the meeting mentioned that our District 1 Councilman P.C. Wu told them he is not aware of any problems in the parks in our district. In part, that may be because he does not visit the parks in his district. Under my system, once a month someone would give him, and other Council members, an earful about what is broken that needs to be fixed in each district starting with the basketball court in District 1’s Belvedre Park that Hayward said was a top campaign priority in 2010 and again in 2014 and maybe in 2018 too.

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