Merrillville park attracting more visitors, and more litterers
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent September 30, 2012 5:58PM
Updated: November 2, 2012 6:07AM
MERRILLVILLE — Improvements made at Pruzin Park resulted in more visitors this summer, but not all have been good guests.
Resident Tracy Mack told the Town Council last week that there is a lot of trash thrown about and youths hanging out at the park.
“It’s become unsafe to go there,” said Mack.
She also complained of overgrown weeds coming through the boardwalk.
“This is happening every day,” she said.
Parks Superintendent Caryn Wilson said trash has been an issue since improvements were made at the park in the spring, including the installation of new playground equipment and the boardwalk.
“There are people hanging out at night and my staff and I have to pick up their garbage when we get in the next day,” Wilson said.
She said some of the park’s night visitors leave their garbage on the ground, despite the fact that there are trash cans throughout the park. She said park employees pick up snack and candy wrappers, Gatorade bottles and other debris.
“The problems mostly happen after our work hours. Picnic tables under the shelter and by the playground provide nice places for people to relax or just hang out,” Wilson said.
Councilman Donald Spann, D-1st, said this was the first he heard of the problem at Pruzin Park and would talk to Police Chief Joseph Petruch about it.
Wilson said she already spoke to the chief about the problem and officers have driven by to check on the park.
She added that the problem hasn’t been as bad since the weather cooled off.
Councilman Thomas Goralczyk, D-4th, noted the area by the boardwalk has native plant life and wondered if there was anything they could do about the plants there.
Matthew Lake, executive director of the Stormwater Management Department, said the plants could be trimmed back so they aren’t growing through the boardwalk.