Editor's Note: This message was sent to members of the Lutherville Community Association in an email thread. Patch contacted the author and requested use of the letter to stir conversation among its readers.
A Lutherville resident:
I know many of my fellow parents in the neighborhood probably are well aware of the littering problem at the West Lutherville playground; however I am concerned that the parents of the tweens and teens in the neighborhood are not aware.
I visited the playground with my two daughters today, Monday, June 18 at around 4 p.m. Three teenagers were sitting on the playground equipment. That in itself is not a problem for me, and they immediately got up and left when we walked over. Nevertheless, they left behind a large candy wrapper, a potato chips bag, and an almost-full bottle of soda.
That is unacceptable.
Furthermore, after we had been at the playground for a little while, two boys about 6th or 7th grade age, arrived at 4:30 and walked toward the stream.
They found several empty glass beer bottles lying on the ground there. One of the boys picked up one of the bottles, yelled loudly, and hurled the bottle toward a rock in the stream.
It shattered loudly.
As he got ready to fling another bottle, I yelled over to him to knock it off and throw away the bottles. He complied, then he and the boy wandered off farther down the stream. Parents of these older children, please be aware of where your kids are going during the day.
Send your letter to the editor at NickD@patch.com.
They are damaging this playground for the many young children in our neighborhood. I was livid seeing these boys purposely shattering empty beer bottles into a stream my daughters love to explore. Now we have shards of glass there, and I will be worried about my daughters playing in the stream. When I asked them why the heck they were doing that, I got an "I don't know," in response.
Clearly, these older children are bored.
As for the beer bottles...what is going on here?! This is the second time I have seen empty beer containers on the playground. The first time was a few weeks ago, when we arrived and found at least eight discarded beer cans littering the lawn right in plain sight right behind the main playground structure.
It was upsetting and angering.
I also have driven past after dark and seen groups teens loitering on the playground. I think we all know where the beer bottles are coming from. Parents of these teens, please stop this.
My daughters and I spent several minutes cleaning up the playground today. I just felt sad doing it. My kids have to see their nice neighborhood play area ruined by all kinds of junk, and upsetting junk at that — beer containers, the occasional empty pack of cigarettes, and little plastic doodads that look like the mouthpieces to some kind of medication (seen lots of those).
I fear we can only expect to see more of the same now that summer is here and these kids are out of school with nothing to do when they should be occupied by jobs or in some kind of responsible activity.
Kids this age shouldn't be at the playground, plain and simple. Here's a good rule of thumb: If you're too old to play on the equipment, please leave, and for God's sake, have enough consideration to take your trash with you. My young kids even know to do that.
Do you agree or disagree? Have you experienced similar issues at your local park? Tell us in the comments section below.