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Trash Dumping Causes Big Problems For Brooklyn Center Little League

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Twin Cities little league could have to pay thousands of dollars to clean up someone else's mess.

The Brooklyn Center little league says people have been dumping debris and trash at Thurs Park. They use the area for overflow parking.

From concrete to tires, there's more than baseballs being thrown out at the little league ball park. Robert Mikulak, coach for the Brooklyn Center Cardinals, has some strong feelings about the debris littering his team's home field.

"I'm just disgusted that someone could have the disrespect for baseball, and do something like that to 4-to-12-year-old kids," Mikulak said.

The garbage has slowly accumulated over six months. Brooklyn Center Little League president Debbie Stoddard says they don't know who's doing it, and they need the space for parking.

"I have people willing to donate -- bringing a shovel down and just shoveling it into something, but we can't even find anywhere that will take it," Stoddard said.

It all started last fall, when the league had to put a halt on a field renovation project because the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said they needed a special permit to use new dirt on the wetland that the field was on. The unused dirt soon became a trash pile of other people's garbage.

Now Stoddard says it will cost around $18,000 to move the dirt and the debris.

"We basically have $500 right now," Stoddard said.

Coaches plan to put up signs soon to let people know it's illegal to dump garbage in the park. Meanwhile, the young players like Juliana Harris hope they can catch whoever is responsible.

"I didn't think they'd do that to little league," Harris said.

The league is hoping someone will offer to volunteer the equipment and labor needed to clean up the mess, so that the kids can get back to playing ball.

"This is where we like to play," Harris said. "This is our home away from home."

The little league president says they now face fines from both the city and the DNR if they don't have a plan in place to remove the dirt and debris. Their deadline is June 1.

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