HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Wildwood Park is a clean beautiful escape on the outskirts of Harrisburg.
“This is one of the nicest areas that Dauphin County has to offer,” said Linda Haldeman.
Haldeman has been a Harrisburg resident for over 40 years. She contacted abc27 because she is concerned about the trash along Industrial Road, which borders Wildwood Park.
“The trash has just gotten worse and worse,” she said.
Haldeman believes truck traffic is to blame for the increasing trash. Despite no parking signs, many trucks park along Industrial Road.
“They pull along the road and they wait for their number to be called to unload. In the meantime, whatever they are eating goes out the window as well as boxes, cartons, bottles, and even human waste,” Haldeman said. “The citizens should not have to step over human waste on their way to enjoying the park.”
abc27 started making calls to see who maintains the land where the trash is collecting. The Department of Environmental protections said litter is a local issue.
Dauphin County said Wildwood Park is part of the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Department. The city of Harrisburg said it maintains Industrial Road. Neither Dauphin County nor the city of Harrisburg would take ownership of the strip of land with all of the trash.
abc27 asked for a map of Industrial Road and the right of way. Harrisburg provided the map which shows the right of way varies from 60 feet to 239 feet. abc27 measured a portion of the road where the right of way was 60 feet. At that spot in the road, four feet of the right of way went into the grassy area where litter was being tossed.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse reached out to abc27 while this story was being investigated. Papenfuse told abc27 he “takes this issue seriously” and believes there is a “joint solution.” Papenfuse said he is in the process of setting up a meeting of stakeholders including Dauphin County and the truck terminals. abc27 has been invited to the meeting when it occurs.
abc27 reached out to several truck terminals along Industrial Road but did not receive a response.
We also reached out to the Harrisburg Bureau of Police to see how many tickets have been issued along Industrial Road for littering or parking in a “no parking” area. The police department did not respond to the request.