Kansas City man decries condition of Brush Creek area in impassioned video

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City man's YouTube video is causing a stir. Craig Smith recently filmed an outcry about the appearance of Brush Creek on Kansas City's east side-- which he says is offensive.

"It wasn`t maintained, there`s a lot of bottles and trash," Smith said. "What it actually says to me is that this area doesn't have any pride in itself."

Smith grew up in the area, and used to enjoy it. He says it's been dirty for years, and is no longer a pleasant place to hang out.

"It smells horrible, I can`t walk or jog down here," added Smith.

Louis Cummings, the Central District Manager for Parks and Recreation, says Smith`s video depicts only one section of the creek.

"It's the downstream of the creek, the majority of the water that runs down Brush Creek gathers here, and this is where a lot of the trash and debris and stuff settle," Cummings explained.

"It's not trash that formed the island; it`s the silt and other debris that flows down the creek during heavy rains."

Cummings says parks and recreation regularly cleans the sidewalks, benches, and trash.

"Probably a couple times a week in this area particularly," he informed.

He says the city has had discussions about cleaning out this area of the creek.

"We know about what`s going on here, it`s just that this is going to take millions of dollars to fix what`s happened here," says Cummings.

Cummings says Kansas City has a very large park system, and workers can't be everywhere all the time; although they wish they could.

"We work hard, and our employees work hard at trying to keep things clean, and unfortunately we do have areas that happen like this sometimes, but it`s not that we don`t react to it, just sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get to some of the areas, but eventually we get to everything," said Cummings.

"It`s all of our jobs to fix it, I don`t want to condemn the city because maybe they have a lot on their plate," said Smith. "It`s all of our opportunity and obligation to instill a sense of pride around here, and that can start by making this area look better."

City workers say they try to keep the area as clean as possible, and perhaps they need to increase the number of times a week they clean it.

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