Town Closes Yentile Park’s Restrooms Just Days After Opening Them Due To Vandalism, Vaping, Vomit, & Feces In Places Other Than The Toilet

The town issued the following press release on Saturday, April 23, 2022:

Yentile Restrooms Closed Until Further Notice

It is said that no good deed goes unpunished and apparently that is the case with the Town’s efforts to provide clean, sanitary restroom facilities to the adults and kids who enjoy Yentile Park. Last evening, for the second day of the four days the facilities have been open, this was scene in the men’s room. Additionally a fixture was damaged and will need repair.

The restrooms will be locked later today until further notice. The vast majority of patrons who are responsible and simply want to enjoy the park with family and friends must suffer the consequences of the irresponsible actions of a few “bad actors.” We will consider options to address these abuses but there are no easy answers. I recognize this decision will not be popular but it is necessary to prevent further damage from the abuse to these facilities.

The town had just issued the following press release a day before on Friday, April 22, 2022:

Yentile Field: See Something, Say Something

Finally, the warmer weather is here, and families are able to be outside to attend kids’ athletic events along with taking advantage of our parks. The Yentile Farm Recreational Facility (Yentile Park) has become the Town’s flagship park for its diversity of activity areas and its beautiful landscaping. Through the foresight of the Yentile Farm Recreation Committee the park was designed to include a pavilion and restroom facilities. The facilities are intended to be a convenience for families attending athletic events on the artificial turf field, watching their kids at the playground, gathering at the pavilion for a picnic lunch or having pick-up basketball games on the courts.

Unfortunately, the restrooms have been subject to significant abuse over the years including damage to the restroom fixtures. Health concerns due to COVID have kept the restrooms closed for the past two years. With indications that the pandemic is in retreat the intention has been to reopen the restrooms this spring. Restrooms are scheduled to remain open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seven days a week. On Tuesday, April 19th at the end of the very first day of restrooms being opened the Public Buildings custodian assigned to clean the restrooms reported that upon entering the men’s room he was confronted with several kids engaged in “fishbowling” apparently a practice in which multiple individuals vape in an enclosed area to fill the room with smoke. The trash receptacle had been removed from the men’s room and was being kicked around on the basketball court. The trash bag, which had been removed from the receptacle, had fecal waste in it and was found on the floor of the men’s room. And this activity occurred after the very first day of the restrooms being opened in two years.

Police personnel will continue to monitor the Yentile Park as they monitor public parks and areas throughout Town along with responding to medical emergencies, addressing traffic issues and a host of other matters that arise. They cannot be present at Yentile Park for extended periods of time enforcing restroom etiquette and proper stewardship of the park. Nor would that be a good use of resources. We need your help. Patrons who are present at Yentile Park and see something are asked to say something. If you observe behavior or activity that is vandalizing Town property or abusive in any way, please contact the Wilmington Police Department at 978-658-5071 and report the matter. For your own safety do not seek to engage the individuals on your own.

The “bad actors” that are engaged in this irresponsible behavior are clearly small in number but their continued abuse of the park and in particular the restrooms may curtail the ability to keep the restrooms open for the convenience of the public. Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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