What’s up with the trash in Pratt Park?

Pratt Park neighbor Skip sent CDNews the following note and photo this morning:

This morning while walking my dogs @7:00 thru Pratt Park I was stunned to see how the park had been literally trashed…

Take three steps and please deposit your trash in the trash can.    This is just shameful laziness – a trash can just three steps away and you can’t be bothered? Really?   You generally won’t find this kind of behavior just over the hill at Volunteer Park

On a positive note the East Central Seattle Parks Department Crew did an amazing job of cleaning up the mess …..by 8:a.m not a trace was left

29 thoughts on “What’s up with the trash in Pratt Park?

  1. I just don’t understand it when people just can’t take care of their surroundings. If you can’t respect public space stay home!

  2. The crime theory of Broken Windows, says the small stuff matters when deterring crime in a neighborhood. Let people know that the neighborhood is cared about. To that end, we should all be responsible for keeping it clean, even if it’s not our mess to pick up. I pick up litter on my street and the pocket park nearby. I’ve been thinking about carrying a spare grocery bag and gloves with me to pick up litter on my walking commute. The less litter there is, the fewer people will think it’s acceptable behavior.

  3. Given the proximity to the trash can, it might be that an animal (racoon?) that got into the can and spread the wealth. I can’t tell from the picture, but was there food garbage involved?

    Agree that the solution is to pick up litter whenever you see it, but perhaps it wasn’t the result of shameful laziness.

    And Central District Staff, I think your comment “You generally won’t find this kind of behavior just over the hill at Volunteer Park” was uncalled for! Keep your attitude to yourself when you don’t have all the facts!

  4. Sorry, Central District staff. I just re-read post and am redirecting comment to Skip:

    Pratt Park neighbor Skip, I think your comment “You generally won’t find this kind of behavior just over the hill at Volunteer Park” was uncalled for! Keep your attitude to yourself when you don’t have all the facts!

  5. if you go to Volunteer Park early in the morning before the crews start working, you’ll see it’s usually covered in trash too.

  6. I stand by my comments. I asked the cleanup crew about the various parks in the area and that while Pratt does not take the Gold Medal for being trashed… that honor go to yet another park, Volunteer Park does not sustain the littering (confirmed by Park staff) that is typical at Pratt Park particularly in summer.

    There was trash EVERYWHERE….empty bottles….broken/shattered glass …beer cans….pee filled bottles…..paper plates…napkins… a half eaten fruit platters in the kids play area…..discarded toys….yes indeed next time I see this I will take more pictures, then drive over to Volunteer park and do a side by side comparison….then you be the judge.

    As for our winged and/or four legged critters there is no way they can open up those trash cans let alone be smash glass bottles…or pee in bottles

    Bottom line folks is pull your pants up – pick up after yourselves and have some regard for the ‘hood

  7. i’m guessing judkins wins… and you’re preaching to the wrong choir skip. instead of yelling at those not responsible, YOU try being a big boy and picking up what you can without broadcasting it. i’m guessing you didn’t touch a thing, just ran home to tweet about the mess you saw.

  8. Yes I understand that I am preaching to the wrong choir – I’d wager that those same folks doing the trashing don’t read…the Central District News….

    Yes as I carry a bag to pick up after my dogs I pitch in and pick up trash too, whether its the trash in Pratt or in Livizzo or on Washington Street in between…

    And yes I tweeted as the trash problem is completely out of control

  9. The trash issue needs broadcasting as well as the
    Nighttime Pratt Park Open Air Drug Market /
    Pimps and ‘Ho’s on the 20th Ave / Yesler Avenue sides of the park.
    That season is just around the corner….

  10. Thank you skip for broadcasting this message. I walk my dog around Pratt park frequently. The trash problem is consistent. Parks personnel do a great job of cleaning up almost daily. But a group of very disgusting people that park along 20th as you note dump piles of fresh fast food and other trash daily/nightly.

    I have observed behavior that is likely to be prostitution and drug dealing along on that side of the Park – on the sidewalk and street. Haven’t spent as much time there as at Judkins to be sure, but, it looks like a bad place to be even in the late afternoon. Don’t think I’ll go there on summer nights.

    We need to drive this population out of the city entirely rather than pushing them from one street to the next. Talking about it and where they are is a great start.

  11. Thanks Curtis

    “We need to drive this population out of the city entirely rather than pushing them from one street to the next. Talking about it and where they are is a great start. “

    Since we are on that subject, I have the SPD non emergency number on speeddial (206-625-5011) Upon observing any kind of sketchy behavior I note the car make / model / approx year / location / tail number and dial in. That is one way to control this problem.

    Pratt Park is a neighborhood kids – family kind of park. It does not deserve this sort of gang bang invasion. The more we call the higher the awareness is on part of SPD – anyone remember a couple of summers ago when the SPD paddy wagon was parked at the corner of Yesler and 20th?

  12. Wow. That is my park of choice to take my kids. I am there almost daily in the spring/summer. We have family functions and get-togethers in that park and have been doing so for years. It is in no way a bad place to be, and if you want it to be better don’t avoid it and don’t try to make others avoid it by using scare tactics like that. I agree that sometimes there is trash around the park but how you went from the stance of littering sucks to its pimp/ho/drug dealing season, to driving out a “population” astounds me. There is no season as you say for drug dealing and prostitution. It’s a year round issue. And do you really think it’s possible to “drive” crime out of the city? Where does it go? Let me guess: Kent.

    When I read these vigilante type comments by my neighbors that encourage people to carry weapons, self-police the neighborhood(these sentiments have been expressed on this site numerous times, I don’t mean skip’s or curtis’ comments), and ultimately drive populations out of the city, I get very worried for my children. Because I bet if you saw my sons sitting on a bench in that park while their little sister plays many of you would not see them for who they really are and would think they were doing something else.

  13. Ilove Kim

    The littering…the drug dealing…the pimping and hoeing is all part of the big picture problem at Pratt Park…the “Broken Window” theory if you will.
    You are absolutely correct Pratt Park is a great place for family reunion functions/get together s / picnics etc.

    Do you remember the corner of 20th and Madison? Deano’s Corner Market? That mess got cleaned up.

    Time to clean up the act at Pratt. Respect / Responsibility and Regard for the Park.

  14. don’t use the non-emergency number. use 911.

    my understanding is that the non-emergency number doesn’t add the call to the tracking data base. if we want more police vigilance and patrols at Pratt, reporting any and all activity via 911 is the way to go.

  15. Yup. 911 works. The none emergency number automated system takes ten minutes to get through and then nothing happens at all. I’ve been disappointed with it every time.

    Kim – I can tell the difference between kids playing/hanging out and devious criminals. Regardless of color. Pratt is a great park, but, There is clearly some criminal activity occuring on 20th.

    The population of speak of driving out is drug dealers, pimps, and gangsters. I hardly see how that applies to families or is in any way scarry. We are not out shooting people. There has been no vigilantyism in Seattle and only extremely rare cases nationwide. The problem is quite the opposite. Also the problem isn’t that people look the other way. It is that poeple aren’t looking at all. We sit by happy and ignorant until your own child is taken in by the gangsters. It happens, even to happy naive people.

  16. Why yes, I do remember Deanos. So are you saying we should sell the park to J.Mueller and let it sit unused for several years? We could even build a Safeway across the street where the church is, since many of our neighbors seem to think neighborhood churches are part of the problem too. The “mess” that you are referring was not cleaned up it was swept to another part of the house. Personally, I don’t have a big picture problem with Pratt park. I see it as a destination and asset to the community (exactly as it already is) and you see it as problem and a magnet for crime. We can agree to disagree.

    In regards to the broken window theory, let’s try applying that theory to the big picture of society. The whole premise of the theory implies that the broken window needs to actually be fixed to make a difference. Moving it to a less visible part of the house is not going to change a thing but appearance.

  17. Precisely my point. Pratt and the many other parks in the CD are really nice places. We don’t want to shuffle drug dealers back and forth between them or into the shadows. We want to move them out of town. I don’t care what Kent does about it. Hopefully the same. No home for active drug dealers.

  18. “Why yes, I do remember Deanos. So are you saying we should sell the park to J.Mueller and let it sit unused for several years?”

    Of course he is not saying sell the park, In Deanos case the only way to get rid of the problem was get rid of Deanos, and it is 100% better as an empty lot. The park is public property, not private like Deanos was, and calling 911 frequently does help, at least the people behaving bad know they are being watched.

  19. If my son is at the park and his uncle drives by and stops to say hi, when my son walks up to the car and shakes his hand a lot of people think they just witnessed a drug deal. He has had the police called on him several times and has been stopped by the police too many times to count. I am glad YOU can tell the difference, Curtis.

    But the point I’m harping on here is that I strongly disagree with the rhetoric of driving out populations/crime, or however you want to put it. I think that notion is actually harmful if closely examined. I don’t want to shift the problem somewhere else, I would rather take the steps to repair it.

    How can you say there is no vigilantism in Seattle? We have people who dress up as super heroes and “patrol” the streets. Most happy naive people are not losing their children to gangs. I say most. Most of the children and young adults taken in by gangs are not living in happy naive households or communities.

  20. @curtis do you really think you can move crime out of the city and relocate it to smaller surrounding areas? I mean that sincerely. How would that even get accomplished?

    @tims, thanks for clearing that up *____*

  21. How do you move criminals out? Using simple tried and true crime prevention methods of community policing.

    1) Police presence – installing and accepting police as a normal and desired part of the community. Having them walk through the parks and streets as a normol course of the day.

    2) Community presence and awareness – residents ‘occupying’ all parts of the neighborhood. Walking through every corner of the park and engauging their fellow neighbors with friendly hello’s and conversation. Lingering a while especially if they are not comfortable with the activities going on. Calling the police on all crimes and suspected crimes. Shaking hands with uncle joe is not a crime. Shaking hands with a different uncle joe every ten minutes is probably a crime. A resident must spend more than ten minutes to figure that out. I sit at Broadcast coffee just to enjoy the day and read the paper and pastries. But I can see 20 uncle Joe’s on some days. Maybe my family just isn’t that big. Or, maybe I’m not fooled by the uncle Joe routine. Besides – Uncle Joe’s seem to be terrible litter bugs.

    3) Clean up the trash, paint out the graffiti, trim the bushes, moe the lawns, paint the houses. Do something about the horrible landscape maintenance at our schools. Make it look like a community that cares.

    Same as the burgler or theive that just keeps trying to find an unlocked door or an easy mark – they move on. Pimps and drug dealers will move on to somewhere else. But, if we continue to restrict where they can opperate – then there is simple less of them. It is a well known phenomina that the big time dealers are in small towns where there are no organize anti drug detectives. That is why we have multi agency task forces so that small towns can have the regional resource but only contribute one officer.

    Criminals will stop or go away if you shine the light on them. What we do in the CD is welcome them and feed them assuming that they are just missunderstood and need our help. They are criminals, opportunists, perverts. They do take young women from naive families and turn them into prostitutes. Thousands of them. The do entice kids of all demographics into drug use. Kids from happy families are nearly as vulnerable to poor naive decsisions of youth being taken advantage of by criminal preditors. It happens every day.

    What doesn’t happen very often, contrary to media attantion – is vigilantyism. So some guys in costumes walk around. One time one of them sprayed some pepper spray into the faces of some drunken idiots. So what. How many innocent people have been harmed by vigilanties in recent times. Very few. Travon case remains to be tried. Indeed, Travon is on trial, not George. The question is was Travon the attacker or not. If he did attack George then it was simply self defence. Unfortunately we will never know what really happened. We can take our best biased guesses and that is all. Was George too assertive? Probably. Was Travon a jerk? Probably. Fools, yup. Either one of them could have walked away.

    But that’s not what this is about. If more people had been out that night. Not just George and Travon. Then the crimes would not have been occuring and the two men would have passed in peace.

  22. Almost every night there is a big pile for trash near the Pratt Park basketball court, I don’t think it is a racoons, unless racoons suddenly took up drinking out of bottles and playing basketball.

  23. I don’t see how the “vigilantes” lawfully carrying concealed weapons in order to protect themselves, their family members, and other people from violent criminals are somehow more dangerous than the violent criminals who are currently shooting up the neighborhood.

    Like Curtis said it is easy to tell who is there minding their own business and who is there for criminal purposes. I don’t carry to go around fighting crime, getting in other people business etc. I carry solely for self protection.

  24. I was at the corner of 20th and Yesler, waiting for the light, in my car, and there was young dude walking through the park with a huge handful of scrap paper, which looked like it had been shredded into a uniform size. As I watched he just threw the entire pile of paper into the air and kept walking. There were a half dozen people in the park and nobody gave him a second glance.

  25. See today’s story about the 20th side of Pratt Park. Time to start driving the drugies out. Disgusting and shamefull how some people make up excuses and positive spins for these low life criminals mooching of our neighborhood.

    Let’s see how the summer dealing season goes. That’s right there is a season.

  26. Today someone dumped there old couch out there beside the basketball court! I walk my dog at Pratt Park everyday and see lots of trash.I try to pick some of it up.Its the adults and teenagers playing at the basketball court throwing bottles and potato chip bags on the ground bot raccoons.Its such a lovely park I wish people would respect the fact that most cities do not have as many wonderful parks as Seattle does!

  27. No Worries A. We are more interested in your concerns than a typo. Your message is clear. I love to walk through Pratt in the morning and hang out at Broadcast Coffee. It seems like such a great neighborhood, until late afternoon when the druggies start slinking around, smoking out, littering and such.