Sunday, September 2, 2012
Increase in vandalism at Juniper Park
From The Forum:
For years, neighbors have witnessed teens gathering at Juniper Valley Park on warm summer nights to indulge in underage drinking. Although some have dismissed the drinking as typical teen behavior and turned a blind eye, Bob Holden, President of the Juniper Park Civic Association, is taking a stand saying it is not only illegal, but it leads to more serious problems like vandalism.
On multiple occasions, Holden said he has driven by the park late at night and noticed groups of teenagers drinking beer. The children are not only violating the 9:00 p.m. curfew, they are also leaving behind a mess for the Parks Department to clean.
“I see the evidence the following day. There are beer bottles and broken bottles all over the ball fields and by the hockey ring,” he said. “The Parks Department and volunteers are the ones who clean up and they’re constantly picking the garbage up,” he added.
Holden attributes most of the vandalism at Juniper Park to teens hanging out in the park and drinking. “When you have underage kids drinking in the park unsupervised, it can lead to crazy things. A lot of what we get is vandalism,” he said.
Although Middle Village residents have reported kids drinking at Juniper for years, Holden expressed concern that this summer they are drinking in much larger crowds. “I mean we used to have drinking and it would be a group of four or five but now, about three weeks ago, I saw about twenty kids,” he said.