By Joan Murray

CORAL SPRINGS (CBS4)- Park moms are on patrol keeping recreation safe, and they’re after new recruits.

The group consists of “moms” who volunteer to patrol playgrounds by making sure the gates are closed, the grounds are free of trash, and the equipment is working properly.

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The founder, Saundra Tanne, said they’re looking for more moms to join the team.

“I need a fresh crop of new blood…mommies that have babies and toddlers that are coming to the parks as often as possible,” Tanne said.

The idea is simple.  Volunteers scope Broward playgrounds for repairs, graffiti or trash and call the parks department.

When Tanne started the program three years ago her son was a three-year-old.

He’s six now, and although they don’t come to the park as often, Tanne said the needs are even greater.

CBS4’s Joan Murray met Tanne at a Wiles Road park where they spotted graffiti on the slides, glass in the parking lot where a break-in happened and a trash can vandalized in the bathroom.

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“If you see something criminal going on or if you see someone about to break into a car, try to stop it before it happens,” she said. “A lot of people don’t like to get involved but no one will notice a mom going back to her car and getting on the phone.”

After going to Mullins Park, the oldest park in Coral Springs, the team found more graffiti and the playground surface splitting apart.

The parks superintendent says in troubled economic times, the need is greatest.

“Obviously cutbacks have impacted everyone’s operations, including staffing and the amount of dollars available to do repair work,” said Superintendent Louis Goldstein. “We count on our volunteers to help us, not only to point out things but areas where we could save in maintenance and upkeep costs of our facilities.  With 49 parks there is a lot of property out there we need to take care of.”

Meline Shmandura became a park mom on the spot.

“A few times like when I would come in I would see one of the gates open,” she said. “And I’m like, ‘oh my God, no the gate is open. Let’s close it before somebody runs out.’ I think it’s a very safe idea and if more moms would volunteer then I would feel safer, even when my children are here.”

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For more information on starting a park moms program in your community call Coral Springs (954) 345-2200.