A week after winning re-election, Pensacola City Councilwoman Jewel Cannada-Wynn is recommending the City permanently close the children’s playground in Morris Court and let the land’s ownership revert to the Area Housing Commission for more low-income housing.
Residents and homeowners in the area have told Inweekly that they aren’t happy about losing their playground.
Commissioner Lumon May grow up in the Morris Court area and worries about the impact of losing the playground. He said that he would like to have a town hall meeting to get input for the families in the neighborhood.
On Saturday, Inweekly visited Morris Court. The playground had been chained and padlocked. A “Danger” signs hung on the gates. The playground equipment was old and needed repair. Children were playing kickball in the side yard of home one block north of the park and having to dodge traffic when the ball went into the street. A parent said the playground had been closed for months.
In 1990, the Area Housing Commission deeded the land located on J and Lloyd streets, under the condition that the city “shall forever keep and use the property as a playground area for children.”
Commissioner May is concerned about where the children living in Morris Court will play. He doesn’t like the idea of building more housing without providing amenities like a playground to residents.
He said that Baptist Hospital has announced it plans to create a green space and park on its campus, but that area is several blocks away from Morris Court.
The City of Pensacola has a total of 93 parks & open spaces, of those 53 have playgrounds. The Morris Court playground will be the first one permanently closed by the City.
Pensacola City Hall has had several battles with its neighborhoods over the past three years – Dollar Store on Spanish Trail (2013), Probation & Parole Center (2014), Manna Warehouse (2015), and Long Hollow Radio Tower (2015) to name a few. This could be the next one.
The Morris Court playground is up for discussion at today’s Agenda Review. Read Morris-Court-Park