Parkside Little League to sell baseball field because of squatters

Trash litters a dugout on property owned by Parkside Little League, which stopped using the baseball field this year because of squatters. (KATU Photo)

A Little League team plans to sell a baseball field in East Portland because of issues with squatters.

The Parkrose Baseball Field, on East Burnside between Southeast 133rd and 136th avenues, is overgrown, and trash covers the dugout on part of the field. Neighbors in the area told KATU News the field has become worse over the past year.

Kay Brown's backyard looks into the park. She has lived next to the ballpark for 50 years. She said two of her sons played baseball there.

"They kept it beautiful all year round. Someone was always out there with the lawnmower," Brown said. "This was the worst year."

Next door, Stewart Brown said the park is frequented by drug users. He said he has seen police come to the area several times.

"They've been out here dozens of times" he said.

The property is owned by Parkside Baseball League. Melissa Fritz told KATU News teams practiced there until last year, when a needle went into a player's shoe.

Fritz said the people who use the property are dangerous at times.

"I was up there with my son. Somebody was strung out and came at me with a stick," Fritz said.

KATU News saw several needles on the property along with broken glass. Fritz found someone on the property Tuesday and called police to have them escort the person off the property.

Fritz said the property is a liability so the league needs to hire a company to clear out the area.

"We're limited on our funds. That's going to cost a lot of money," she said.

To clear out the area, she said, would cost up to $3,500 and even more to build a fence.

The league, she said, plans to sell the property to Green Canopy, a development company. The sale could be finalized in spring 2018.

Neighbors said they are sad to lose the ballpark, but are ready for a change.

"The sooner the better at this point," Brown said.

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