RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Today Cunningham Park opened back up to the community in Riviera Beach after undergoing a facelift.
City leaders are hoping the green space will provide children a safe place to play and help deter crime.
“It’s diamond in a rough for this entire community,” Councilwoman Lynne Hubbard said.
“We start with the children, we start with the youth. They have seen a lot of crime, yes they have. But we have to deter them, by showing them through activities, that there are other paths for their lives.”
Hubbard hopes the park improvements, including a playground and basketball court, will revitalize the neighborhood, by helping keep crime away, and give kids something to do to stay out of trouble.
Hubbard says the park is a safe place kids can come to find out what sports they are good at, socialize with others, and participate in after-school activities.
Research has found that community parks are linked to reduced crime, while also making people feel safer outdoors.
There’s hope the park will re-energize the neighborhood, and that the momentum will continue.
Leaders say the next thing they will be doing will be talking to the corner stores, encouraging them to re-paint and revitalize their storefront.V