Residents, city officials helping rebuild vandalized community park in Stockton

Parks can be considered as a place of refuge for residents and a community in Stockton has come together to rebuild a park destroyed by vandals.

Parks can be considered as a place of refuge for residents and a community in Stockton has come together to rebuild a park destroyed by vandals.

Jerrold Travis has lived in the Kelly Drive area in Stockton for 41 years and loves to play basketball, but he was not surprised when vandals invaded Heroes Park.

"Par for the course, you gotta be kidding me, right?," said Travis.

Earlier this year, the glass backboard, which is rare for public parks, was shattered by someone throwing a rock at it.

The park was then closed down in June.

The Kelly Drive area has an infamous reputation for violent crime with the nearest city park being a 20-minute walk.

So, community members decided instead of commuting further to focus on rebuilding the Heroes Park with the help of volunteers.

The playground and basketball court was donated from land owned next door by Calvary First Assembly of God Church.

"It's a park being built by the community for the community, which means it is all funded by community members," said Peter Jalilie, a pastor at the church.

On Thursday, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Councilman Dan Wright and Rotary of Stockton President Ann Johnston officially unveiled a new $900 backboard funded all by donations.

"So, it's a great day in the city and it really shows how Stockton and it's regular people are driving a lot of the change," said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.

The park does have future plans to add more amenities, including a walking path and the Rotary of Stockton donating $11,000 for a new amphitheater.

"There wasn't much for kids to do around here," said Whittnee Burns, who has lived across the street for eight years. "It's been nice to come out and actually see kids playing basketball and playing on the swing set and actually staying out of trouble."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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