The next day, I got a message on my phone explaining that Bartlett Park is a flood plain and part of the flood control system in the area, so the Park Department isn't allowed in that often but has to get special permission to go in and only goes in about once a year for "weed abatement" and for removing dead trees.
Interesting, though it raises more questions--like what, exactly, is a "park" anyway? Why can the general public go into this one any time the please (albeit at their own risk--and, honestly, that is why most of the pics here are taken from the edge), while the Parks Department can't? And one of these days I may actually phone and ask. Really, the only delay is me not getting around to it--any time I have phoned the Parks Department, they've been perfectly willing to answer questions.
Anyway, whatever a "park" is the plan of the moment is to leave Bartlett Park as it is, which should make the people who bike there happy.
Right now, I can't really imagine anyone wanting to go in--it's pretty jungly and most of what is growing there seems to have spines. There are some interesting bugs, though.