Vandals’ act forces change at Holt Pond parking area

KIOSK TORCHED — Vandals caused damage to the Holt Pond entry kiosk on Grist Mill Road in Naples. LEA is offering a $1,000 reward for information regarding this incident.

KIOSK TORCHED — Vandals caused damage to the Holt Pond entry kiosk on Grist Mill Road in Naples. LEA is offering a $1,000 reward for information regarding this incident.

Lakes Environmental Association’s Holt Pond Preserve in Naples and Bridgton has been expanding since the 1970s and now provides almost a square mile of woods, wetlands and streams for the public and school groups to enjoy.

Unfortunately, vandalism is also increasing.

Last year, spray paint was the tool of destruction. But, this spring, vandals took to fire — a far more dangerous threat to the woodlands of the preserve. Torches were used to burn the signs at the entry kiosk on Grist Mill Road in Naples.

LEA has decided to take measures to reduce the vandal’s access and to try to flush out the person or persons responsible. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the identification of the person or persons involved.

Anyone with information should contact LEA by calling 647-8580 or by mail (230 Main Street in Bridgton).

Effective immediately, the parking area will be closed at 8 p.m. Anyone on the property after that time will be charged with trespassing.

If the vandals are identified, that restriction will be lifted. But, further acts of destruction will lead to the downsizing of the area available for parking.

LEA is hopeful that preserve visitors will rally to provide stewardship for the area so full access can be restored.

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