WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem’s Quarry Park opened to the public in August 2017, but in the six months since, some people have been taking to the park for all the wrong reasons.
“There’s this beautiful thing that we have this ability to finally see and enjoy,” Winston-Salem resident Lindsay Reynolds said. “People have put a lot of effort into building this place and designing it.”
The park, which offers spectacular views of the quarry and city skyline, is located on Quarry Road, which is off Reynolds Park Road.
“I’ve waited to see this [since] about 7 or 8 years old,” said 85-year-old Jean Pruitt, remembering her childhood when the quarry was off-limits to the public. “I hope everybody will be able to come out and enjoy it.”
However, vandals have recently spray-painted graffiti on benches, walkways, garbage cans, signs, gates and even the overlook above the quarry.
“Though it’s a little scary, it’s really cool being able to walk out and feel like you’re in it,” Reynolds said, of the overlook.
Both police and citizens have discovered the graffiti, some of which police say is gang-related.
“I can’t see why anybody would want to mess it up,” Pruitt said.
The park draws people from all over North Carolina and beyond.
“This was meant to be enjoyed and somebody’s out here wrecking it,” said Kristen Renaud, a Colorado resident who visited the park on Friday.
Perhaps most frustrating for the taxpayers who funded the park, is that the vandals – or their parents – most likely contributed to the project as well.
“You’re doing this to yourself, too,” Reynolds said. “Have some pride in what you put your effort and your money in.”
Police say they are increasing patrols in the park and are considering installing cameras.
North Carolina law states that “any person who engages in graffiti vandalism is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A person convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor under this subsection shall be fined a minimum of five hundred dollars and, if community or intermediate punishment is imposed, shall be required to perform 24 hours of community service.”
If a person has two or more convictions for graffiti vandalism they can be charged with a Class H felony.
(Warning: Spray-painted images contain gang signs)