A brush clearance contractor will be secured to remove the excess brush at Chatsworth Park South within the next few weeks, according to a representative from the Department of Recreation and Parks.
The park shut down due to lead contamination in the soil several years ago and since then both the public and city workers have been banned from entering it. However, left untouched, excess brush has continued to accumulate unchecked and has been posing a danger to the historic Hill-Palmer cottage and the Chatsworth Historical Museum located next to the park.
“They’re not watering it right now; they’re not doing anything,” said Bea Berman, a local community volunteer. “One little spark, a lighted cigarette or something that’ll go off in flames and ruin our homestead acre there.”
Berman said she and others have contacted the Parks Department, city officials and the fire department about the issue. Finally, she said, something is in progress to remove the brush and dry tinder.
“Now that the fire department has stepped in, they’re hoping to get in a private company," Berman said. “Captain Smith is very nice. I’ve spoken to him several times and we’re hoping that something can be done about it now.”
According to a statement from Andrea Epstein, a representative for the Department of Recreation and Parks, the process of clearing the brush will begin soon.
“The department will secure a brush clearance contractor to remove park brush at Chatsworth South within the next few weeks,” Berman said in a statement.
Matt Myerhoff, communications director for councilmember Mitchell Englander, also confirmed that the city is currently under a work agreement with the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for the remediation of the site.
Myerhoff said in a statement, “The Department of Recreation and Parks has issued a task directive to the contractor in charge of the clean-up of the site to do the contaminated brush clearance. The specially-trained contracted workers must also wear monitors when doing this hazardous removal to monitor the ambient levels of contamination. This is all extremely costly, but we do have some good news to report. Barring any unforeseen complications, the brush removal should begin as early as next week.”
Berman said she will be happy when the brush is cleared. She also hopes that one day soon the park will reopen for vistors, as well.
This is one of the nicest parks in the valley,” Berman said. ”People are always coming in, they want to know how come the park is closed. So many people have called me, only thing I can say is keep writing to them and pestering them and maybe something will come out of it."