Permanent camping on the bank of the West River across from Center Pond.
This was also a problem in Fairmont Park, though I haven't ventured in to see what's going on there lately. It's very unnerving if you live next to one of these parks, that someone anonymous could be watching your coming and going daily from the woods. The "campers" also tend to leave a lot of garbage behind, leaving everything when they move on.
At the risk of raising some people's ire, I'd like to suggest showing compassion and leaving this person alone. I've spoken to him on a few occasions and he seems O.K.; just needs someplace to live for a while.
Let's be grateful for all we have, and not harass him.
@marisa - with all due respect, your concern is well taken. But I believe rules for public spaces should be uniformly and consistently enforced. How are the rest of us to judge which people camping at the park are Ok, and which are not ? Another question is how many is too many ? How long is "for a while" ? Many families are actually scared of using the Edgewood and West River Parks exactly because of these types of activities (others include litter, smoking weed, foul language and graffiti).
There is another camper's tent set up which is visible from the bridge on Edgewood Ave,There are very important reasons why there is no camping in the park. The river floods in the areas that people are setting up tents.Bathroom facilities are not in these areas. Damage to wetlands,garbage and a forest fire are all possible scenarios.
The settlement is growing - there are three tents visible from the archery field now.
The West River is plagued by floating trash. Hard to say whether it comes from the camping or further upstream since we the public do not feel safe walking along the river bank while it is being monopolized by persons as a private dwelling.
I had no idea that there was an archery field. Not to negate the problem but that's really neat.
There hasn't been any archery there in 30 years, but that's its traditional name. Maybe it's on the original park plan ...?
Has this been addressed?
Apparently not - we haven't been watching for his bike track during the snow but he was still there in January and the tents are there. No word from any city or other agency.
Are the Alderpersons aware of this?
We reached out to this individual prior to Hurricane Sandy and again before the snow storm, but he has chosen to remain in the park and ride out the crazy weather and winter. He seems very settled, even going so far as to shovel his pathway off the archery field to his tent following the storm. Not sure if there are more folks in there, though the tents have indeed grown in number. We've also just tried reaching out to Lisbette De La Cruz, the Outreach Coordinator at Columbus House, again but her mailbox is currently full. Her number is 203-772-4200 ext. 2126. She's been in contact with the camper in the past. Parks Dept. seems to take a surprisingly laissez faire attitude re: camping in the park. While the individual is low-profile and does not bother anyone (overtly, at least), I agree that the precedent it sets is not great. I also imagine there are folks for whom his presence in the park is unsettling at best, and avoid the park and trails for that reason.
Thank you Chris, for recapping the situation. Your last sentence is certainly true for me - before Nov. 2011, when the squatting began, I often went bird-watching along the river bank to look for the kingfishers, herons, and winter ducks. For the last two winters I have certainly not felt I could do this, because what was formerly a small public wildlife area, is now a privately-occupied housing site.
The camp was destroyed by fire about two weeks ago and has been cleaned up (thanks!). This issue can be closed - however vigilance is needed to prevent future illegal camping.
No active camping at the moment, but I saw a man with a pack leaving the site and walking through the archery field at 7:30 am last Tuesday or Wednesday so it could happen again.
Charlotte, same guy? I've seen our camper hanging around the gazebo area, but have not seen him go deeper into the park. He has a car now, I believe, so maybe things are looking up.
Regardless, I think we should immediately organize with Parks and Friends of Edgewood Park a work party clearing the brush out of that section so at the very least, this site does not get reestablished.
Chris, I don't know ... I don't try to get close, naturally, and now that Wolfie is gone and we are playing alone, I'm extra cautious. But cleanup would be a good idea.
Original posting was for 2012 if current issue still exist please open a new ticket, thank you.