Brooksville girl uses YouTube to push for park improvements

Hernando County

A Brooksville 7-year-old is pushing for city leaders to fix up her local park, and she’s turning to YouTube to get her point across. 

Banjoe Valdes loves to be the center of attention, so she’s playing to her strengths to get the attention of leaders at Brooksville City Hall. With the help of her dad, Eric Valdes, Banjoe created a video highlighting dilapidated equipment at their local Tom Varn Park. 

The video, titled “Brooksville, Really?” was uploaded to Banjoe’s YouTube channel, Banjoe Traveler. She and her dad make videos for the channel, documenting her travels near and far. 

Tom Varn Park is close and convenient but the Valdes family isn’t thrilled by the state some of the equipment is in. In part of the montage, Banjoe can be seen playing on a tire obstacle, but some of the tires have large rips and tears and she falls through one of them. 

“Whoa!” she says in the video. “Somebody should fix that!” 

In another part of the montage, Banjoe says “check out these swings!” to a swing set with non-existent swings, then falling over in the sand. 

Eric Valdes says the playground at Tom Varn Park has been around since the early 90s. Much of it is made from wood, with swings missing and bolts loose. 

“It’s not a safe environment,” Valdes said. “I mean, kids come out here to play, they’re not looking out for the danger. They just want to have fun.” 

Valdes knows his daughter’s performance is precocious but he’s hopeful it can spark progress, too. 

“We really want a nice community,” Valdes said. “A nice place we can enjoy with our family.” 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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