GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — On warm, sunny days, people, especially kids, like to spend time at the park.

It’s not an option in one area of East Greensboro. Bingham Park was built on top of a toxic landfill and has been closed for decades.

People who live in the area are fighting hard to bring the park back to life.

One of the most touching stories FOX8 crews heard was from a grandmother, saying her grandkids look out the window of their house onto the park and ask why they can’t play there. It’s stories like that driving the Bingham Park Justice Project group to push for a full remediation of the park.

“For us this is home, so that’s why it’s important to me to clean up their home,” said Cheryl Johnson, who lives near the park.

Johnson came to Greensboro’s eastside homeless and created a home near Bingham Park.

“We saw this park,” she said. “We thought it was a place they could come and play and grow and thrive and they’re not able to thrive right here.”

Her grandchildren can’t play there. Instead, they have to drive to a different park because this one, which sits near the property of the old Hampton Elementary School, is built on top of a toxic landfill. Those who don’t have transportation are out of luck.

“They’re missing so much of their childhood not having baseball fields and soccer fields and places where they can actually run and exercise,” said Dale Hall, who lives near the park.

Hall grew up five minutes down the road and remembers when the park was a popular gathering spot.

“At one time when the park was open, we’d all come together for church events, holidays,” he said.

Now, the park is closed and empty with a cracked basketball court, an overgrown baseball field and uneven walking paths. The veteran is making it his mission to fix it.

“A Marine never retires so my war is to get the park revitalized,” said Hall.

Hall and other community members started to see the results of their fight Friday afternoon, as city, county and state leaders gathered at the park to discuss possibilities of funding the renovation of the 11 acres.

“We do not want a band aid,” said Councilwoman Sharon Hightower, who oversees the district where the park is located. “We deserve for you to treat us like the people that we are, 100 percent remediation.”


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Community leaders’ support is their sign that progress will happen and one day, the park will reopen.

“We have great hope, we have great hope,” said Johnson.

Leaders at all levels are working to fund this remediation. Between the park and the former Hampton Elementary property, it would cost about $39 million to make the area safe again.