Frustration over closed gate at open park in Benton Harbor

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Some are feeling in locked out in Benton Harbor. Jean Klock Park is supposed to be open to the public during the day but the gates at the entrance are locked.

The City of Benton Harbor said the park is open but visitors should drive around the gates.
“I thought it was closed,” said Art Lynch, a former Benton Harbor resident. “I thought it was closed for the season actually.”
Lynch, currently lives in Colorado but is back in Benton Harbor for a funeral. Wednesday afternoon he wanted to visit Jean Klock Park. “It would have been nice to get a closer parking spot and see what it looks like down there,” he said.
“They’re not supposed to be locked,” said Carol Drake, founder of ‘Save Jean Klock Park’. Drake recently lost an appeal in a lawsuit filed against the city over land use of the park.
The sign at the gate reads “Park open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.” The ‘0’ on the ’10 p.m.’ had been taped over.
Drake said the sign is misleading when the gates are closed and the park is supposed to be open.
According to Emergency Manager Order 11-28, between October 1st and April 30th the park will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
 “It’s not closed to cars. Cars are simply being driven around the gate which is perfectly fine.” Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris said in an email to ABC 57 Wednesday afternoon.
“I don’t know how you consider (the park) open,” said Drake. “A gate is an imposing feature.”

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