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Residents surprised to find Northside playground torn down

RICHMOND, Va. – Neighbors were shocked to discover that city crews tore down the Third Avenue Tot Lot, a Northside playground.

“I’ve seen families walk by here expecting to go here and then they get disheartened and they try to find somewhere else, but there's nothing close nearby,” said Chelsea Mahaffey.

The Northside playground was torn down by city workers two weeks ago.

“A place we used to come here and do a lot –slide -- play fight a little bit,” said Jh'eriah Jones.

Mahaffey worries about the kids, with nothing to do and said she's eager to see city crews haul away this debris left behind from when the equipment was torn down.

Specifically, chunks of concrete with steel pipes sticking out of them, a safety hazard, she believes.

She was surprised that city workers just put caution tape around it.

The Northside playground was torn down by city workers two weeks ago.

“I mean, if it was a tot lot, I wouldn't leave any of this out, you know,” Mahaffey said.

Officials with the City Parks and Recreation Department said the equipment was run down and too unsafe for kids.

They said some neighbors have already chimed in about what they'd like to see happen with the space.

The city said they will coordinate with a playground vendor and return back to Mahaffey's community for more input from those eager to see this empty lot transformed into a safe space once again.

“Hoping something will go in for the kids because so many young kids around here need something to do,” Mahaffey said.

Chelsea Mahaffey said she's seen families walk by expecting to visit the playground.