Mysterious stones on a stretch of Pelham Parkway are puzzling passerbys.
The 20- to 30-pound rocks have been appearing quietly under the cover of darkness along a stretch of the park from Bronx Park East to Boston Road for months.
First around trees and then in random circular presentations throughout the park, said neighbor Marcia Lewis. She believes someone is carting the rocks from outside the park and assembling them there at night.
“I call it mini Stonehenge,” said another neighbor, Kay Cardona.
With the impending snow season, Lewis is concerned that the stones pose a safety issue, and she brought attention to the situation by posting on Community Board 11’s Facebook Page in late December.
She said she previously approached the Bronx Park East Community Association about the issue.
There is a large number of neighbors who use the park to walk their dogs, and new rocks appearing overnight makes it difficult for older residents to navigate, said Lewis. The possibility of snow obscuring the stones just increases the dangers.
“It’s a tripping hazard,” said Lewis.
The numerous stone circles create obstructions in the otherwise level park, which makes it impossible for kids to play sports, like soccer, in the nicer weather.
“Now there’s no field,” said Lewis.
Other concerns are that the rocks will make it difficult for the grass to be mowed and the park to be maintained, and that they have been catching litter that blows across the park.
“The stones really devalue the neighborhood,” said Lewis.
In addition to being a safety hazard, reducing the park’s uses and looking unpleasant, Cardona said the rocks form seating arrangements that encourage loitering and deviant behavior. Lewis said she recently found condoms, a box cutter and needles in one of the areas.
Other neighbors are complaining as well, both Lewis and Cardona said, including residents whose windows overlook the area or who walk their dog in the park.
But they are also concerned that the person who is forming the rock circles—someone once approached Lewis and took credit for the project— is not mentally well, and would like to see the situation dealt with appropriately.
Lewis is not looking to blame anyone, but just wants her park back to the way it was.
“I’d like to see the rocks removed,” she said.
No one from Community Board 11’s Parks Committee has had the time to visit the site since the issue was raised a few weeks ago, said chair Joanne Rubino. She feels the situation requires investigation before any action is taken.
She said the committee will likely discuss the issue at their next meeting. If it’s true that someone is carting in rocks from outside the park, that could be a real problem, she said.
“It’s concerning if somebody’s doing it,” said Rubino.
A spokeswoman for NYC Parks said the department is aware of the issue, and recently met on-site with Lewis, who filed a 311 complaint.
She said they will continue to review this matter and hold additional conversations with the community to determine the best resolution.