Bartholomew County officials drawing attention to vandalism, trash at area park

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BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. – There’s no denying that the scenery at Anderson Falls is beautiful, but now county parks and recreation officials are drawing attention to problems that often overshadow the nature preserve.

“Sometimes we have some undesirable people show up here and do some things that we really aren’t happy with,” parks board treasurer David Apple said.

Apple says over the years the park has seen a regular barrage of people causing damage. Some of the problems include graffiti, drugs and excessive dumping of trash. Apple says the board once tried to add portable washrooms to the park after the permanent bathroom was vandalized. That experiment didn’t end well.

“Somebody threw it over the hill and into the creek so we quit doing that,” he said.

Apple says Anderson Falls is tough for law enforcement to regularly patrol because it’s in a relatively remote location. And due to budget constraints, the board can’t hire a regular patrol. So now, the parks board is hoping that park goers and county residents can pitch in to help keep Anderson Falls in good condition.

“I want them to step up and say ‘hey this is our park, this is what we enjoy seeing, and what can I do in the little bit of time I’m here to make it better,’” he said.

In December, a special public meeting will be held to help create an action plan for that could lead to improvements. The board is partnering with Purdue University and their program called “Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces “to come up with that plan. That meeting is scheduled for December 7 at 3 p.m. in the Bartholomew County commissioner’s chambers.

Apple says part of the board’s hope is to drum up more public interest to deter illegal activity.