Graffiti closes park for all

September 24, 2008 4:00:29 PM PDT
Rangers had to shut down Long Bridge Park because of vandals and the nasty graffiti they left behind.The sound of power washers, not children playing, filled the air at Long Bridge Park in Hainesport. The popular 115-acre park and playground off Route 541 has been closed since Saturday after rangers discovered the place covered in graffit by vandals.

"It's various words, curse words, obscenities, racial slurs, a little bit of everything. It appears that the vandals tried to offend everybody," John Smith, the park superintendent said.

State police are investigating and are asking anyone with information to contact them. There's no exact figure yet, but the cleanup is costing Burlington County thousands of dollars.

Some of the graffiti is easy to clean up, while others are proving to be more difficult, according to the contractor, such as the paint on the picnic tables made of recycled plastic.

"We have 6 children and since it's been closed they can't go back there and enjoy the park. It's a shame they're ruining it for everyone," neighbor Robin Murphy said.

Deliveryman Bill McGrath agrees. He enjoys eating his lunch at Long Bridge when he's in the area. But he's had to park his truck outside since the park remains closed.

"It's a shame. I mean, it's like anything else. You have something nice and people take advantage and they ruin it for everyone else," McGrath said.

Officials are anxious to reopen the park, but as the cleanup continues, it'll be at least several days before that happens.

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