OYS: Getting answers about a popular park that closed

FOLKSTON, Ga. - Some residents in the southeast Georgia town of Folkston told FCN they are upset about a park in the area they believe suddenly closed.

Reginald is from the area and told FCN he is upset because a park close to his heart and the fabric of the neighborhood is locked.

"As of today, 31 March, the baseball field, a public park is locked, locked where no one can use it," Reginald told FCN. "They did this as a way to prevent us from enjoying our Easter afternoon. It's the same park that we practice for the annual baseball game as well."

Reginald said he and others have enjoyed the park for at least 20 years for their Easter egg hunt tradition.

Angelo, also of Folkston, also wrote contacted FCN asking:

"This year our county has locked the gate too where we cannot live this tradition on! The question is 'Why are they locking the gate too this PUBLIC PARK?'"

FCN called Al Crace, the Charlton County Administrator to get answers for you.

Crace said the park is open to pedestrians, who can come and go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"The park is not closed," he told FCN by phone. "The gate where people can drive in is locked because we have experienced significant vandalism."

There was no recent event of vandalism and did not know the cost amount of damage off-hand, he said.

However, Crace says they have had vandalism that seems to correlate with people driving into the park as well as a pattern of vandalism to the park bathrooms has developed.

There are pedestrian gates for people to walk in at different areas and perimeter parking that is designated close to the park.

The park's drive-in gate has been locked off and on for the last two years, he said.

About the Easter egg hunt tradition, Crace said the Hearts of Love club wants to use the park for a community-based youth and family event. Crace said he met with leaders in the club last Saturday and the club does have a permit and exclusive use of the park for the Easter event.

The people attending the event will also be able to drive into the park.

Crace added that a couple of parks and recreation representatives will be assigned to be with the event as a precaution.


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