Recently there has been an escalation of vandalism throughout the park system. When individuals damage or deface park property and litter it drains the resources of dedicated volunteers and staff and costs the township money.
Graffiti and litter are ongoing problems. Staff and volunteers remove trash from ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds and parks every week. The Rec Department’s sports facilities have high traffic during this beautiful time of year. Keeping fields free of litter is expected but a daily struggle.
The public bathrooms at multiple sites were intentionally clogged and backed up the sewer line. They had to be closed and portable toilets rented. A water fountain at Fullerton Park was completely ripped from the wall, more unnecessary, costly repairs.
A newly installed memorial garden at Strawbridge Lake was also recently vandalized. The Annalise Schultz Memorial Garden took over a year to plan, raise funds and install. Annalise was nine years old when she passed away in February 2020 from brain cancer. She touched many lives. It is a beautiful, contemplative spot with benches and plantings. So many people were involved in this project, friends, family and schoolmates. It has raised awareness of childhood cancer and pediatric brain tumor research.
In the case of the Annalise Memorial Garden, 50 people have already come forward to volunteer and repair it. The Rec has groups of volunteers and individuals who tirelessly pick up trash and dog waste with no recognition. And we are so grateful for them.
We ask that everyone do their part. Don’t litter. Be vigilant. If you see anything, please call the non-emergency police number 856-234-8300. Take pictures to help identify individuals who are damaging public property. Vandalism is subject to fines, community service and restitution.