North Berkeley Park to get extra monitoring after repeated vandalism

by Trish Rudder

The North Berkeley Community Park will be protected with new security cameras and lighting with help from the Morgan County Partnership.

The Partnership applied for and received grant funding to purchase wireless and solar security cameras and lights to fight vandalism at the North Berkeley Community Park on Williams Street in Berkeley Springs.

At the June 21 Town of Bath council meeting, Partnership representatives Kristin Willard and Robin Langenstein offered the cameras and security lights for use at the community park and was accepted by the council.

The grant is from the University of Baltimore (Md.) in Combating Overdoses through Community Level Interventions, Willard said.

Councilman Rick Weber said last week that Parks & Rec will be responsible for monitoring the high-resolution cameras and will feed the captured information to the Berkeley Springs Police Department.

The park is owned by the Morgan County Parks & Recreation but maintained by the town.

Morgan County Parks & Rec director Dawn Beal said last week that nothing will be added to the park until it is secure. Parks & Rec received grant funding to add “Disk Golf” to the playground – where kids can throw frisbees into the contraption, Beal said.

She said the park has to be secure from vandalism before “making it nice.”

When the playground was vandalized last year, in addition to finding used needles and condoms on the grounds, obscene pictures were drawn on the playground equipment and a plastic window was destroyed on the slides and tunnel piece that is designed for two-to-five-year-olds, Beal had said.

Willard said the next step is to have a meeting with Parks & Rec and the Berkeley Springs Police Department.