‘Give kids back their park’: Neighbors distraught after Orchard Avenue Park closure

SPOKANE, Wash. — Those living in the neighborhoods near Orchard Avenue Park say they were blindsided after the park was shut down.

People are saying it’s being torn down without any warning.

“It’s joy. It was joy,” said Mary Ann Sanders, who lives near the park. “Everyday was joy.”

Twenty-two years of memories are all Sanders has left of Orchard Avenue Park. Rain or shine, she says the park was always a part of her life.

“Picnics, picnics with children,” she said. “Watching family reunions here in the park, seeing birthday parties in the park.”

When she heard about the park being torn down, she felt like someone was taking joy away from her life.

“The closest park now for children to go to and mother/stroller and stuff is Millwood Park,” Sanders said. “Where are the children supposed to play? Where are the mothers going to push their children with strollers?”

Spokane County has ended their lease with Felts Field after decades. County officials say it doesn’t make financial sense to invest a large amount of money in upgrading old playground equipment and its aged sprinkler system.

Felts Field wants that land back soon for eventual runaway improvements. People in the neighborhood are frustrated though, unable to have their say.

“It was just unbelievable,” said Jennet Siniff, who also lives near the park. “It made me really upset.”

Spokane County says there are no plans for another park in the neighborhood.

“It’s just, you know, sad,” Sanders said. “Give kids back their park.”