Residents say St. Mary’s Park full of garbage, needles despite cleanups

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St. Mary’s Park is the largest park in the South Bronx. The Parks Department says because the park is a highly trafficked area, it is cleaned several times a day. The department says that syringe disposal kiosks were installed last year. They also say that six park workers were hired in January and assigned to syringe pickup in the borough.

But despite these efforts, residents say they still see many needles laying around.

Magaly Perez, a 7-year-old parkgoer, says she sees broken glass in the park whenever she comes to play. She says she’s scared of how someone could get cut on it.

The Parks Department says this is a space it's investing in heavily for the community, with six capital projects currently open to improve various areas of the park. 

The department also says in a statement in part, "We have been collaborating with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other harm-reduction partner organizations to increase resource outreach to drug users. We have also added containers for safe syringe disposal at St. Mary's Park, and our Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers have partnered with the NYPD to provide an increased presence at parks where kiosks are installed."

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