HARTSELLE, AL (WZDX) - Vandals are causing thousands of dollars in damage at E.A.R.T.H. Park in Hartselle. The city is fed up and taking steps to catch those responsible.
"It's a lovely park," said Joshua Copeland as he enjoyed the day with his family at E.A.R.T.H. Park in downtown Hartselle. "I think it would be a good park to come out and do a little picnic."
But when you take a closer look, light posts are missing, benches are destroyed and picnic tables are chained to the ground to prevent them from being overturned. It's just some of the damage caused by vandals over the years.
But recently, planters were overturned, educational signs were destroyed and electrical outlets were torn apart.
"It's really sad that somebody can't take care of this. It's a really nice area for families to come out and some folks are ruining it," said park visitor Susi Turri.
The park is maintained by the Hartselle Beautification Association. Carolyn Wallace is the non-profit group's director and she said they are tried of spending thousands of dollars in grant money to make the necessary repairs.
"It's just wasting our money to put money into this park and have it just destroyed," said Wallace.
The city plans to catch those responsible by stepping up police patrols, placing 24-hour surveillance cameras in the area and offering a reward for tips leading to an arrest.
"Surveillance cameras would be awesome. They need to do something because nobody will want to come out," said Turri.
Until cameras are in place, Wallace is asking residents and local shop owners to help keep a close eye on the park, especially on weekends when most of the damage occurs.
Wallace said they have not determined the amount of the reward yet but if you have any information, call the Hartselle Police Department at 256-773-8264.