Nightmare Park Makes Me Want to Keep My Kids Inside

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Tompkins Square ParkImagine watching your kids run around the local playground, digging in the sandbox, swinging on the swings, meeting the neighbor kids, and ... fighting off rats everywhere they turned. Sounds like a horror flick, but it's the reality for patrons of one New York park where rats have overrun the place

In the East Village, Tompkins Square Park was once a lovely place. It got all new playground equipment in 2009, and was even named one of the city's top parks. Now it's one of the top hangouts for rats -- lots of rats.

"You have to run away because they think it's their territory," one woman told the New York Post.

"You can hear them in the bushes squeaking," a man told the paper. "The park is their breeding ground." Others said the rats actually crawl up the children's legs.

After reading this, I'm not sure I'll be able to go to any park in the near future without being on the lookout for rats, and I don't live anywhere near New York. I'm not sure I'll even be able to sleep.

The Parks Department says it's doing its job by keeping it clean, but the rats come anyway. Poison, they say, isn't an option because of a red-tailed hawk that lives nearby. I can't believe they'd rather rats run up children's legs than a hawk perhaps ingesting some poison. I love animals, but something is wrong with that logic if you ask me.

I can't imagine anything I'd rather see less in a park where my kids play than rats. *shudder* Well, actually I can -- pedophiles, dirty syringes, guns, drugs ... and the list goes on. The fact is that there are few spaces in the world that are completely safe anymore for our children; even spaces designed for them can be harmful to them. It's sad ... and too bad a little poison couldn't wipe out all of the problems as easily as it could the rats.

What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a park?


Image via edenpictures/Flickr

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