Bradberry Park Locked And Closed Following Crimes

January 16, 2008

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The ball fields and playground at Bradberry Park in Walnut Hill now sit quietly behind a closed and locked gate following recent vandalisms and thefts.

“We don’t want to have to keep that park locked,” said Escambia County’s Chief of Recreation Michael Rhodes. “But it had to be locked following vandalism and the theft of several items.”

All 13 athletic parks in Escambia County are managed by the athletic associations that play there. The seven acre Bradberry Park in Walnut Hill is managed by the Northwest Escambia Little League.

League President Steve Hanks tells NorthEscambia.com that over $12,000 worth of athletic equipment and other items were stolen from the field house in the park. The thieves actually busted into a wall of the building in an attempt to gain entry.

“We are probably going to keep locking and unlocking the park for now,” Hanks said. “Once baseball season starts, we will probably leave it open all the time.” The league’s first games are scheduled for early April after Spring Break.

Rhodes said most athletic parks in the county are kept locked, opened only for events, practices and games. Walnut Hill’s Bradberry Park was one of the few that were open all the time.

For parents that want to let their children play on safe playground equipment, there is a nearby alternative to Bradberry Park. There is a complete playground, including swings, at the county owned Walnut Hill Community Center (also known as the Ruritan Club building) on Highway 97 just north of the fire department.

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