It’s a Shame

[Editorial]

Ossipee — January 12, 2006 — It’s a shame to see the damage that has been done at Constitution Park in Ossipee. Over the years that damage has included willful vandalism of interpretive signs set up on trails to help people understand and appreciate the nature around them.

This week Conservation Commissioner Jean Hansen, who also owns property on the lake near Constitution Park, met with selectmen to show them pictures of the most recent vandalism. Lately the damage includes destruction caused by people riding all-terrain vehicles not only in the wetlands areas that people have worked so hard to try and protect, but also along the boardwalk set up to give people a path to the lake. Skid marks can be seen in a number of pictures, along with the damage of rails being pushed out and broken along the side of the walk.

There are problems, such as deterioration due to rot of some of the posts on the boardwalk, which must be fixed. Such problems may be unavoidable. But vandalism is not. No doubt, in time those responsible will be caught. But meanwhile, the cost is being felt by those who will have to pay for repairs, those who see the work they put into the project destroyed and those who would simply like to use the park as it was intended and see it preserved for the future.

Constitution Park was set up with the help of grants and the many hours of work of town employees and volunteers. They took the time to lay out a park that provided spaces for organized sports and other recreation opportunities.

The park has ball fields and tennis courts that are used throughout the summer, an open space that provides room for a multitude of activities during Old Home Week and the Fourth of July, and nature trails for more quiet recreation pursuits.

It is too bad that some people cannot find ways to enjoy this resource without destroying it.

It’s a Shame