ORRINGTON, Maine (WABI) - A local nature center has seen an increase in vandalism and misuse of its land.
The issues at Fields Pond Audubon Center began about a year ago.
"It's a great piece of property. I mean you've got fields. You've got forests. You've got wetland areas and you have the lake here so it's pretty idyllic,” explained David Lamon of Fields Pond Audubon Center.
Located just seven miles southeast of Bangor, Fields Pond Audubon Center is a place where many can go to enjoy the great outdoors.
The Center offers a variety of guided and self-guided walks and other programs.
However, in recent months, managers have seen an uptick in vandalism and misuse of the site.
"Last year we had a sign in the same spot that I'm standing that was torn down and a couple of signs down further that were also tore down,” Lamon explained.
David Lamon is the manager at Fields Pond.
He says they've had to replace and add signs in the area to warn visitors of their policies.
Due to the misuse at the property, twelve volunteers have stepped up to help pick up the area and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
"I think those people that forget that ethic, just a gentle reminder that there are people that are coming in after them that are spending a lot of hours cleaning things up,” said Lamon.
"It's nice to be able to volunteer and be outside and be in nature, and supporting a place like the nature center. We've always thought that was a good thing to do,” explained Meg and Mary McElroy who have been volunteering for about a month now.
One of their major projects has been to clean up any graffiti along the trails and swimming area.
"Some of it is probably old from a long time ago so, hopefully once we get it cleaned up, it won't happen again,” said McElroy.
Lamon says the Penobscot County Sheriff's Office has been notified about the vandalism.
He say the department has increased patrols in the area, especially at night.
However, even with that and the addition of signs, Lamon says they just asking visitors to respect the property, and to take out what you brought in.
“We want to keep this accessible to the public so everybody has a chance to be out in nature and enjoy it but, we want people to follow the rules so we can all have that privilege,” Lamon explained.