LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Elliott Square Park is one of Louisville's most historic parks, designed by the famous Frederick Law Olmsted.
Many Russell neighborhood community members are upset the park that once hosted Louisville's Major League Baseball team has fallen into disrepair.
Cecil Nance grew up in the area and used the park his whole life.
"I was born in '61, I've been hanging around here since about '66," Nance said. "We played basketball over here, football right here every day, yeah, we played at this park every day."
He and others are frustrated by trash that now covers the park and the conditions of the bathrooms, which include a toilet with no seat, shattered walls, insect nests, burn marks from an apparent fire and toilet paper hanging from a chain.
"I think it's the worst thing I've seen for kids to playing football, practicing and have to go in there and use that kind of facility," Nance said.
"We call 311 all the time but that don't do nothing but go in one ear and out the other," Curtis Jackson, another longtime park patron said.
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The Parks department declined an interview Thursday but sent an email saying, "The restrooms at Elliott Square Park are maintained and cleaned daily."
"That's the biggest lie I've ever heard," Nance said. "I've been in there and seen trash that's been in there a week or two. That's the biggest lie I've ever heard."
The conditions are also frustrating from the Olmsted Park Conservancy which raises money to maintain the historic parks he designed.
"Elliot Square is historic. It's been around for over 100 years," Liz DeHart, the conservancy's marketing director, said. "We don't want to see any park with toilet paper hung on by a chain."
DeHart said the parks department has ended up spending time and money on park vandalism around the city.
"If we could eliminate it or reduce it, Metro Parks would have a lot more time as well as funding to be able to take on other projects," DeHart said.
Those using the park say they've been waiting on a change for years.
"We pick up all the paper and the trash and everything," Nance said. "We do more down here than the city."
"As the park decayed, things went away. Not too many people want to come down here when you can't use the bathroom," Jackson said. "Would you want to take your kids down here?"
Elliott Park is just the beginning of Louisville's park issues, unfortunately. The city has received more than 1,000 park complaints in just the last six months.
If you've had any Louisville park issues, email our reporter William Joy at email@example.com.