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Fireworks debris rains down on Gillham Park

Posted: 4:01 PM, Jul 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-05 18:08:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The July 4th holiday is over, but crews are still out working cleaning up the aftermath, especially at Gillham Park.

“Wow, 4th of July came in with a bang,” said South Hyde Park resident Demetrius Moore. “I haven't seen anything like this.”

Firework debris littered the road, sidewalks and the playground.

“It's illegal, number one,” said South Hyde Park resident Rosemarie Woods. “Number two, if people are going to do it and there's probably no way to stop it, can't they clean up their mess? That's the part that really irritates me.” 

As Woods takes her dog JoJo out for a walk, she’s disheartened by the mess. 

“This is a kids’ playground for crying out loud,” Woods said. 

It’s a playground Brittany Null and her children visit often.

“We come here all the time, at least two to three times a week,” Null said. 

A place they usually come to play has been put on hold. 

“They didn't feel the need to pick any of it up, it's ridiculous,” Null said. 

Null and her kids picked up some of the sparkler residue sprinkled across the playground.

“There's like these sharp pieces everywhere,” Null said. “This is not appropriate for kids.”

Crews from Kansas City’s Parks and Rec Department have to pick up what’s left behind.

“For the amount of stuff that we try to do in the community and then having to spend most of our staff time today to try and  clean up all the mess and find all the long term problems and damage from the fireworks,” said Devin Wetzel with KC Parks and Rec.

Park officials have 220 parks and more than 100 playgrounds to inspect. 

“Today probably 60 people are doing nothing but just picking up the fireworks debris,” Wetzel said. 

Several people from the community and other volunteers took it upon themselves to help out and clean up the debris.

Wetzel says he’s thankful for the volunteers. 

“Without the volunteers, we wouldn't be able to get this picked up for a number of days,” Wetzel said.