Concerns at Rotary Park beach addressed

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Lansing's latest beach has been drawing a lot of foot traffic, but not just from locals and tourist, it has also attracted the homeless at night.

Reports of the homeless camping out on the beach, have let the public wondering how sanitary the sand really is.

Even on a brisk fall day, the beach at Rotary Park looks inviting and fairly clean to those who walk by it daily.

"At least by lunch it seems to be all picked up and pretty tidy," said Eric Neilson, a passerby.

But the Lansing Parks and Rec director tells News 10 that Rotary Park is considered high usage and have crews out daily to keep it this clean.

"We are in this often," said Brett Kaschinske, of Lansing's Park and Rec department.

Kaschinske says most of his work crews are out in the morning cleaning up the park and sometimes come across those who have camped out over night.

"Obviously the homeless are welcome in our park, but they are not welcome to camp overnight which is illegal, so when we see that we take the necessary steps to eliminate that," said Kaschinske.

The city's crew work with the Lansing Police Department when it comes to the homeless.

"Lansing police goes out there and talks to the individual," said Kaschinske. "Also our human relations and community resources goes out there to find a way to shelter the un-sheltered.

Kaschinske does admit finding the proper equipment to clean the sand was challenging when the park first opened a month ago, but now has an efficient method in place.

"It's Michigan sand so its a very fine sand and we are able to use a pitch fork system that vibrates through that keeps any material that is not able to fall through that grate, fall right on top of the fork and that's what we have been using to get some of the smaller debris, obviously if there's a bigger thing like a cup we would just pick that up," explained Kaschinske. "But really we have seen good response to the beach, not only in use but also from our staff in the ability to keep that clean.

Parks and Rec tell News 10 that they will continue to monitor the homeless problem at the park and will keep an eye on contamination concerns.

Friday, October 25 is the last day for the Parks and Rec Department's seasonal crew.

However, even with a smaller work crew, the city say Rotary Park will be a top priority for clean up due to it's high usage.

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