HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — A Harlem park has become a breeding ground for rodents, according to some parents.

The CEO of the Harlem Jets reached out to PIX11 News for help.

On any given weekend, there are up to seven football games at the Harlem River Park Athletic Field. Lately, parents said they must watch their feet because it’s become a playground for rats.

Parents took cellphone videos of rats running feet away from equipment bags and the field. Coaches and players run through trying to avoid them. Some rats were seen under the stands, where parents were supposed to sit.

Jamel Wright, the CEO of the Harlem Jets football team, runs a youth sports and mentoring program. Kids as young as 5 years old participate on the weekends. Wright said the city recently added a trash can and cut some of the grass, but the rat problem persists.

Gilbert Cuevas said watching his 8-year-old grandson play is scary. 

An NYC Parks Department spokesperson told PIX11 news, 

“We hear the call for improvements and are working hard to improve the facilities at Harlem River Park. Rats are currently being addressed, new lines are coming to the field, and we’ve already cut back overgrown vegetation at the site. Our staff works hard to keep our parks clean and safe for all New Yorkers. We ask parkgoers to do their part: take out what they bring in and dispose of all garbage in designated trash cans.“

If you have a story, reach out to Monica Morales at monica@pix11.com.