HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The U.S. Army Reserve itself is largely gone from the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Uptown Harrisburg — most of the small group of folks who remain are Marines.
But the Army still owns the center, which runs between 2nd Street and Green Street in Uptown Harrisburg, as well as a parking lot and old baseball field across Green Street from the center. And that part of the property?
“Would you want to live next door to this?” Joe Armstrong asked , who does live along the street, pointing to the overgrown ballfield — an old dugout and scoreboard are the only clues to its decades-ago use.
“Some of those weeds in there — they’re five, six feet high or something like that,” Armstrong said. “And it’s just a breeding ground for things you don’t want breeding around here in the city” like foxes, skunks and possoms. “They don’t maintain this at all.”
Armstrong said he called abc27 News after he and other neighbors tried but failed to get help from the Army.
abc27 News contacted the Army Reserve.
“The 99th Readiness Division is aware of the issue of the overgrown field at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Harrisburg,” John Bradley, a deputy director of public information for the Army Reserve, said in a statement. “The Mission Contracting Command at Fort Dix, New Jersey, has contacted the vendor who is responsible for the ground maintenance and cleanliness of the field. As of 4 p.m. [Tuesday], the vendor is working on the field and ensuring it’s being cut and maintained properly. The Army Reserve takes the maintenance and upkeep of its facilities very seriously. We continue to work diligently to improve and sustain installation environmental compliance and stewardship.”
Turns out the city of Harrisburg once had a different idea for improving the property.
“The City of Harrisburg recognizes there is an issue with how that area is being maintained,” city spokesman Matt Maisel said in a statement. “We reached out to the federal government through Congressman Scott Perry’s office in early-to-mid 2022 to ask about acquiring the ballfield to help beautify the area. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any interest from the armed forces, at the time or since, in offloading it. We’ll continue to work with our congressional partners to do what we can for the Uptown neighborhood and residents of Harrisburg at large.”