From the Queens Chronicle:
Trees, flowers, a playground — these are the things that come to mind when one thinks of an urban park, but just walk around the more than 16 acres known as a Railroad Park near Rochdale Village and you will encounter a very different site.
Aside from a narrow pathway that stretches a few dozen yards beyond the entrance, navigating the desolate area on foot is nearly impossible — though it is that way largely by design. Thick underbrush, tangled branches and weeds growing several feet high make for purposely natural but potentially dangerous surroundings. Residents in the area say that for the most part, it has always been that way.
Carol Booth, who lives a few houses away on 129th Avenue, says she often sees raccoons in the area and at one time there were rats roaming the streets. Garbage including and old tire litters the land.
The unruly park has also become a haven for rodents, which are now attracting coyotes, according to several residents who spotted the canines roaming the park late last year.
City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) believes that the area should remain a natural habitat, but says the Parks Department, “should do a better job of keeping it clean” and plans to send officials a notification about the conditions.
Ironically, Comrie says the area was not turned into an active recreational park because of concerns that it would attract unsavory characters and lead to crimes like muggings, so in a way the unruly underbrush is important because it keeps people out.