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Park atop Scenic Drive not so scenic for visitors

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas--Murchison Park is one of El Paso's oldest treasures and boasts some of the best views of the Sun City at the peak of Scenic Drive. But while it glimmers, it's not gold, it's broken glass.

"The view is beautiful, but I'm concerned because there's a lot of glass everywhere and I have three little kids, and we just have to pay special attention to them," said Amy Flynn.

Flynn took her three kids up to Murchison Park because after spending years abroad, she wanted to show them the best views of her hometown.

But while the horizon is breathtaking, the more than 100-year-old park has lost some of its shimmer over the years.

"I think that people come up here to get away from everything, and you kind of have the stress of, 'oh my gosh' there's glass, there's trash everywhere," said Flynn.

There's virtually no landscaping and visitors say benches and monuments seem haphazardly placed and ill-maintained. It's also not ADA-compliant.

Murchison Park came about as a result of the quality-of-life bond that saw the paving of Scenic Drive in the 1900s.

Now, after El Pasoans approved almost half a billion dollars in quality-of-life projects, Murchison, one of the first, isn't scheduled to receive a penny.

"It's sad," said Flynn looking at the ground around her.

Instead, city employees said, to get the park fixed, community members could seek money available through neighborhood improvement projects or neighborhood associations could become park partners.

No one from the city would speak to KFOX14 on camera to talk about the park's current state.

But park supervisors say they receive several complaints about its condition and contract with a company to clean debris once a week.

And El Pasoans need to take a little pride in the pocket park instead of smashing beer bottles into the side of the mountain.

"It's not a restful place like it should be. The view is restful and beautiful but the area is not," said Flynn.

City workers say the boundaries of the park only extend about 5 feet beyond the rock wall, so broken glass past that point is considered private property and therefore can't be cleaned.

After KFOX14's phone calls, two city employees did check out the park's condition and said they were going to be making some adjustments in the cleanup of the park.



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