Marion Parks Director says keeping River Trace Park clean a pain

Marion Parks Director says keeping River Trace Park clean a pain

Rawls notes graffiti, vandalism, litter on playground, picnic areas The playground area at River Trace Park in Marion will be getting a new load of mulch, but Parks Director Andy Rawls said the park is one of the most vandalized in the city.

Rawls told City Councilman Bryan Jackson, who represents the district where the park is located and asked for the load of mulch to be put down, that there are constant problems with vandalism at the park.

“I’m going to tell you something. We have more problems with that park and playground than we do anywhere else,” Rawls said.

Rawls said they have had trash cans and picnic tables thrown into Marion Lake.

“When we put two parking spots out there the mayor wanted a trash can out there,” Rawls said. “We put a trash can there but it has been pulled up and thrown in the lake. We put one in concrete and put a chain lock on it and they still pulled that up and threw it in the lake. I had picnic tables chained to the ground and in concrete. They pulled those up and threw them into the lake.”

Graffiti on the playground equipment and four wheelers have also been a problem at the park.

“Some of the things we have taken off of that playground equipment is ridiculous,” Rawls said. “There is a guy on the southwest corner who was constantly calling me about four wheelers over there.”

There was also recently a fire in the mulch which fortunately was caught in time by an alert resident.

“We had the makings of what could really have been a bad fire in that playground area,” Rawls said. “Somebody had thrown a cigarette in it and we got it out before it got bad.”

Rawls said the vandalism is most likely being done by teenagers who live in the subdivision.

“Some of our worst vandals live in River Trace,” Rawls said.

The city has put signs up at the park warning any would be vandals that they will be will be prosecuted if caught.

“Some of those signs have even been torn down,” Rawls said.

Jackson said it is a shame that people are tearing the park up.

“They’re utilizing it,” Jackson said. “But they’re abusing it.”

By Mark Randall