Bowling Green—With school out and the hot weather baking the ground, there is new trouble afoot, or more accurately, the same old trouble making a comeback—vandalism.
And it’s starting to take a toll on Bowling Green’s City Park.
“There’s so much more we could be doing with the money we’re using to clean up after these kids,” said City Clerk Linda Luebrecht.
In recent weeks, the park has been the site of several acts of vandalism, said Bowling Green Police Chief Don Nacke. He noted that the fence around the children’s playground known as the Little Explorer’s Park was damaged, and there were several places where people had carved their initials and other graffiti into tables and parts of the pavilion.
“There have been several groups of juveniles hanging around the park in the late afternoon or early evening,” Nacke said. “We’ve identified some of the juveniles who damaged the pavilion,” he noted. “We’re still trying to ID the ones that damaged the fence.”
Nacke said it’s mostly stupid stuff the children are doing, but it still costs money to fix the damage.
He also said his department would do it’s best to increase patrols in the area, “but they always know when the police are there and when they’re not.”
Lubrecht said there have also been reports of people climbing in the rafters in the pavilions and making a mess in the bathrooms.
“They are being highly disrespectful in the bathrooms,” she said, adding that there are a lot of groups and people who like to use the park, and it’s important that the grounds and bathrooms remain usable for them.
“They have to be respectful of other people’s property,” Lubrecht said. “If you don’t want your bathroom to look like that, then why do you allow our bathroom to look that way?”
The city could have crews in there cleaning every hour or two, but that is not cost effective. There are other things Alliance, the company that is contracted to take care of the park, has to do. Spending all their time cleaning up after vandals is a drain on the city’s resources.
A lot of the problem stems from parents dropping off their children at the park and not sticking around to supervise them, Lubrecht said.
“That causes a lot of the issues,” she added.