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Trashy conditions in an overgrown field in Oildale concerns residents

Kern County Public Works abated the field on Beardsley Avenue twice
Posted at 9:36 AM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 12:39:04-04
  • Video shows dumped trash and overgrown conditions in a field on Beardsley Avenue in Oildale.
  • Catrina Brown moved into her neighborhood in February and has seen the field in bad shape for as long as she's lived in the area. She says she wants to see a change for future generations.

This field in Oildale is overgrown and full of dumped trash.
Kern County Public Works issued an abatement notice on Friday, but one resident says this field has looked like this for as long as she’s lived in the area.

An overgrown field on Beardsley Avenue is home to more than bugs and birds.

Here you’ll find mattresses, shards of glass, and magazine scraps, and the trash and jungle-like growth concerns Catrina Brown, a resident in the area who tells me she’s worried about kids walking home from school.

“Some poor kid could just be walking by and accidentally step on a needle or a pipe or anything,” she said.

Brown moved into the neighborhood in February and says she’s seen the field in this condition for months.

“It kind of hurts that Bakersfield and Kern County looks down on Oildale, and we’re usually the last to get anything.”

But, it’s not only the mess that disturbs her.

She thinks it could pose a fire risk.

“It would be tragic for all of this to go into flames because this isn’t just one family home," Brown said. "It’s that whole complex.”

County fire officials weren't available for an on-camera interview, but Captain Andrew Freeborn says a disheveled field alone won’t cause a fire, but if a fire occurs the dead, dry grass and trash can fuel the flames.

Al Rojas, the code compliance manager with Kern County Public Works, says they issued a notice by mail and posting at this location on Friday for the second time this year.

“Those costs must be paid back to the county," Rojas said. "If those costs are not paid back to the county, it does become a lien. That lien can become delinquent and eventually somebody has the potential to lose their property.”

This problem isn't isolated to this field.

Just across the street, we saw another overgrown field among others in the area.

Rojas says in the last fiscal year, they completed about 150 abatements compared to about 220 abatements so far this year across the county, adding they’ve been able to address more complaints because of additional resources.

“We rely on reports from the public to address a problem, so my biggest piece of advice to anybody out there is as soon as you see something report it to the county,” he said.

Brown tells me she grew up in Oildale, and since she was a teenager, she saw people openly using drugs along with trashed areas like this field.

“It’s sad. We’re a community too.”

She tells me she wants to see a change in her community for future generations.

“Just kind of want to see everything cleaned up so future kids don’t have to say. ‘Well, that's just because it's Oildale,’' she adds.

According to the notice, Kern County Public Works will execute the abatement on Tuesday.

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