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Did You Really Have to Do That?

Was it that much fun defacing Greenwich parks in the snow?

The Town of Greenwich spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to maintain hundreds of acres of parks with verdant, pristine gardens, beaches and recreational fields.

So why would some knucklehead get their kicks out of driving their vehicle over some of those snow-covered fields, doing doughnuts? It's one thing to slide into an empty, vast snow-covered parking lot and spin your vehicle around as though it's a four-wheeled ice skate. But, seriously, driving around in crazy 8's and doughnuts, tearing up ball fields and town parks after the season's first snowfall? What were they thinking?

On Monday morning Greenwich parks employees found that the grounds of two parks were damaged by these race-car wannabe's. What ever happened to building a snowman or having a snowball fight as a celebration of a wintry blast?

The snow covering the New Lebanon ball field on William Street, behind is laced with loops of tire tracks in the outfield. And in , the ball field, a soccer field, a tract of grass along a sidewalk, and the lawns of the local garden club's rose garden, are asunder with tire tracks.

Even if I weren't a town resident, I'd still be pretty miffed that someone would tear up the parks.

Director Joe Siciliano tells Greenwich Patch that he can remember three, maybe four such incidents in the past five years. Not two in one night.

While residents near these parks didn't report any unusual activity overnight Saturday, he expects that Greenwich Police will catch those responsible.

"The kids will end up bragging. There's been no one yet but I expect that they're proud of it and they'll start bragging at school," Siciliano said. "And when they do, we'll hear about it."

Siciliano, who's been with Parks and Rec for more than 30 years, said, "With the weekend snow, it was the perfect opportunity for the little demons to come out do their thing."

But, he added, "We try to hold people accountable for their actions."

It's too early to tell just how much damage was done, according to Siciliano said. But if the culprits are found, they can expect to be arrested and the town to seek restitution for repairs. Siciliano said that two of the incidents he referenced, the town did just that.

In one instance, a neighbor of Loughlin field in Riverside was charged with damaging a field, and another teen was charged in connection with incident at a Cos Cob field. "One made restitution and the other came with 6 friends and their wheelbarrows and they made the repairs themselves," Siciliano said.

His department has asked to check the town's parks during their neighborhood patrols. And he asked that if neighbors of the parks see or hear anything, "we prefer they call the police and report the make, model and license plate of the vehicle."

The town's parks are too vast to make it prudent to fence off the perimeters, especially when there are so many access points, Siciliano said.

In the meantime, if anyone saw the offending drivers over the weekend, they also can call the Parks and Rec Parks and Trees Division at 203 622-7824.

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