DPR: 16 parks not maintained due to lack of funds

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DPR Director Roke Alcantara Sr. says DPR has over 70 parks under its park inventory listing. (PNC file photo)

Maintaining the island’s public parks and park facilities continue to be a challenge for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

During an informational hearing at the legislature, DPR provided updates on its ongoing efforts to maintain the extensive list of properties under its inventory, namely parks, public cemeteries, and public pools.

DPR Director Roke Alcantara Sr. says DPR has over 70 parks under its park inventory listing.

And with limited manpower and other resources, the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep are shared by DPR with various agencies and organizations through public-private partnerships.

The Mayors Council of Guam, the National Parks Service, and private businesses have adopted some of these public parks and properties, according to Alcantara.

But around 16 parks are in need of upkeep.

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“As far as the adoption of the parks, as I’ve said we have a total of 78 parks. There are 15 parks adopted by the mayors, 23 parks adopted by private firms, and there are 16 parks that are not maintained,” Alcantara said.

He added that they did not receive any stimulus and CARES ACT funding last year and that the only federal grant received by the department was from the Department of Interior.

“The only federal grant that we have is the DOI grant that was used to renovate the restrooms, three basketball courts that were renovated, the tennis courts, and also a dog park that was built in Dededo,” Alcantara said.

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With DPR underscoring the need for increases in manpower and support for Parks and Rec, the legislative committee discussed new sources of funding via federal grants, the CARES Act, and the relief package being discussed in Congress.

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Louella Losinio
Louella Losinio is PNC's News Director for TV and Digital Media. She was a former reporter for the Marianas Variety (Guam Edition) and the Guam Daily Post, former editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Pacific Island Times, As a freelance writer, she has contributed content to various regional and local publications such as the Marianas Business Journal, Guam Business Magazine, The Guamanian, and Island Times. Aside from her decade-long experience in the media and print industry, Louella has experience in technical writing, education, and nonprofit management.