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Boston, state look to make changes at troubled Clifford Park


Officials are looking to reclaim long-troubled Clifford Park near Mass and Cass as needles, public sex and human feces push community members and youth sports teams away from one of the few public spaces in the area.

“I call the kids the nameless victims,” said community activist Domingos DaRosa, who coaches kids on the Pop Warner Boston Bengals. “The community’s dying.”

The park is just a few blocks from the heart of Mass and Cass, where crowds of people roam the streets, visibly buying, selling and using drugs. DaRosa said the same activity has spilled into the park.

The locals have called Clifford, with its yellowed grass and dusty ground stretching between Norfolk and Massachusetts avenues, “the prairie” for years. But, in an interview with Boston25 a few weeks ago, one parent instead called it “Crackhead Park.”

But for the drug users on the periphery of the park, the choice of drug is more often opioid by injection. Orange syringe caps and some needles litter areas of the park alongside tourniquets, cotton balls, wipes and saline solution for needle cleaning. Many of these come from kits distributed by area organizations trying to keep drug users from getting diseases as they shoot up.


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