My favorite picnic spot at Thacher Park was quiet and uncrowded on Saturday. That’s because it was closed.
Several of the park’s roads and parking areas were barricaded, blocking access to many of the picnic areas, fields, and special spots that make Thacher Park a local treasure. The ground was strewn with broken tree limbs and branches, the sort of stuff that would normally be removed during routine clean-up.
We were able to park in the Hop Field area and managed to find a picnic table and grill that weren’t broken. It was important to be extra careful with our charcoal cooking fire, because the ground was carpeted with piles of dried leaves and pine needles.
The rest rooms? Locked. Not a big problem for me and the boys, but it’s something my wife finds inconvenient. Without going into detail, it appears that the area behind the bathrooms is being used as an open air latrine.
The State Senate and Assembly have proposed restoring enough funding to keep Thacher Park open, but as detailed in this statement from Parks Commissioner Carol Ash, funding cuts will mean a crippling reduction in services.
Depressing? Shameful? Disgraceful? Take your pick, they all apply.