Resident hopes Chimborazo park gets needed love and lighting

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RICHMOND, Va. – A Church Hill resident contacted the CBS 6 Problem Solvers, concerned over deteriorating conditions at a Richmond park, that he said would also be safer if the lights were working.

Richard Donald loves his home on Church Hill, and he especially loves living so close to Chimborazo Park. But when he moved in,  Donald discovered there was no lighting in this Chimborazo playground area, and that neighbors felt unsafe.

‘At the time this was pretty dangerous it was a drug and gang hang out,” Donald said.

So Donald, a professional lighting designer, went to the city`s department of Parks and Recreation and offered to help install these lights at his own expense.

He took care of that, and all the electrical between them.

“We used my bucket truck and my employees,” he said.

Richard Donald used his own resources to install lighting at the park, years ago.

Richard Donald used his own resources to install lighting at the park, years ago.

After that, he said the city started to spruce up the park; installing a new basketball court and playground.

Now Donald fears things are going downhill again.

“You can see how dark this is at night,” he said.

He contacted CBS 6 Problem Solvers, who took a tour of the park with him.

He showed us the damaged electrical wires and equipment on top of this playground gazebo, and said that's why these basketball court lights haven't worked for five months.

Donald said he has had no luck getting the city to fix them.

“So soon as it gets dark they pack up and they go because the lights don't work,” Donald said.“The power has been disconnected. I want them to put it back so kids and the community have a safe place to play.”

Donald, an avid tennis player, also pointed out the aging, peeling tennis court that is riddled with cracks.

“When you're trying to play tennis the balls are hitting the cracks,” he said. “This needs a complete resurfacing.”

The homeowner said he just wants the best for his neighborhood and he doesn't mind speaking up.

He just hopes city officials will listen and respond.

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