Keizer woman warns of poison oak in city field

Keizer woman warns of poison oak in city field

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by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 8:09 PM

KEIZER, Ore. -- It's the perfect time of year to sit outside and take in a baseball game. But for one little league team in Keizer, poison oak is spoiling some of the fun.

"The volunteers out here, everyone works real hard and everyone loves these kids but there needs to be some things addressed," said Salem resident Roger Schneider.

Schneider coaches his 6-year-old son Mason's little league team.

Over the past two weeks, Schneider said he and his family have been worried about what's growing very close to the bleachers.

"I don't want to be here right now," Mason said.

Two weeks ago, Mason's seven-months-pregnant mom got a bad case of poison oak, which the Schneider's think came from one place: a poison oak plant at least 20 feet tall alongside a tree right behind where the kids play ball.

"It's all over her body and I feel sad for her," Mason said.

Photos: Poison oak spreads on pregnant woman

But Schneider said when he first told the league about it, they were not quick to respond.

"It's been here for a long time. That's an old plant," he said, pointing to the top. "I want it gone."

So, he turned to Facebook.

"I've never done anything like that before but people care and especially when it has to with children. Children are what we're all here for," he said.

The city of Keizer owns the twelve fields. The poison oak is growing from a private property onto the city's property over a fence.

After Schneider pressed, Thursday morning, the city put up a temporary orange netting to keep the kids out.

"Today, there is a safety gate up. That is a start, i just want to see it completely taken care of," he said.

Keizer Public Works Director Bill Lawyer said the city is notifying the private property owner by mail in order to have the poison oak removed as soon as possible.

That sounds like a great idea to the kids that play ball at the park.

"Cut it down and make it go somewhere where we never ever see it again," Mason said.

Lawyer said he feels confident now that the fencing is up that kids and spectators are safe.

He hopes to work with the property owner to have all the poison oak removed. He said, "hopefully within a week."

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