Community Insight: Park Hill getting needed upgrade

Crews addressed the fire Thursday at Park Hill in Hollister. The fire chief said it is suspected arson like three other prior fires in the past two months.

It’s great to see Hollister leaders dedicating funds toward new playground equipment, including a structure at Park Hill.
Park Hill had become a haven for homeless residents and criminal activity to go with its scenic views and centralized location. On Oct. 16, crews put out the fourth fire in two months near Park Hill—with the suspected arson cases underlining the downfall of a once-cherished attraction.
City officials recognized its value in 2009 when they put together a Park Hill Master Plan identifying a range of improvements including a new playground structure like the one getting installed soon, which should help to make it a more family-friendly destination in the near future.
It is a beautiful park that the entire community deserves to enjoy. This county is consistently compassionate toward local homeless residents. At the same time, enough is enough when it comes to handing over a gem like Park Hill.
Community leaders do a lot for the homeless—the homeless coalition runs a seasonal winter shelter and is pursuing a permanent shelter—while there could be more attention paid at the same time to helping a much larger population of hard-working residents who are just getting by in this county.
As for the homeless residents inhabiting places like Park Hill, it serves nobody’s best interests to allow the park to become a permanent home for anyone. The goal should always be to help them gradually get off the streets.

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