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North Partridge Point Park seeing uptick in littering, vandalism

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz South Bay President shows off some of the graffiti that is part of a vandalism problem at North Partridge Point Park in Alpena Township. Recently, the park has seen an uptick in littering, vandalism and broken glass on the ground. Police in Alpena have stepped up patrols in the park area.

ALPENA — The South Bay group and its partners have invested time and money to make the North Partridge Point Park a place for people to enjoy.

But in the last year, it has been plagued by litter, vandalism and misuse.

Some of the vandals left their initials in spray paint and efforts are being made to find them.

Residents and law enforcement have stepped up the efforts to track down and catch the culprits causing the damage.

South Bay President Larry Clark said it is not uncommon now to find trash around the park, including broken beer bottles, and graffiti. He said volunteers spend hours cleaning up the mess and repairing the damage, only to return after a few days and do it all again.

“We know there have been a lot of parties out there at night,” he said. “People are taking their four-wheel drives out on the beach and tearing it up, and it is ruining the park and taking a lot of effort to try to keep it maintained.”

Clark said he contacted law enforcement who increased patrol in the area, hoping to discourage the mistreatment of the waterfront park.

Clark said South Bay’s fear is people who visit the park will find it unappealing, leave and not return.

“When the park is damaged or dirty it may keep people away,” he said. “That is our fear, is that people just won’t want to use it.”

The property is owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and located in Alpena Township, but maintained by South Bay. It is connected to a birdwatching trail and is popular for picnics and launching small water crafts like kayaks.

For now, Clark said South Bay continues to care for the park and clean it as necessary, but if the damage becomes more severe and expensive, stronger steps will be taken. The plan for now includes adding additional trash receptacles and signage, encouraging people to not throw garbage on the ground or damage the area.

People who see or suspect illegal or suspicious activity at the park are asked to call the Alpena County Sheriff’s Department’s non-emergency phone line at 354-9830.

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