Endemic vandalism at Commerce Twp park causes repression


For years, families have enjoyed Mill Race Park in Commerce Township. But their visits have seen an increase in graffiti on what remains of the historic mill, trees and more.

“It has to be resolved, it has to be stopped,” Courtnee Antos said. “They are more than likely kids, so I think parents really need to pay attention to what their kids are doing.”

Township supervisor Larry Gray says vandalism in the park has been a problem for at least a decade. The spray-painted messages are often vulgar.

“It turns me off, I can’t believe people do this stuff in our parks,” he said. “He has a ton of green space and seeing that is heartbreaking.”

“Teens come and go, they’re gonna sneak, they’re gonna smoke – they’re gonna be kids,” Pamela Chester said. “We were all kids at one time, but you have to do something about it.”

Gray says every time they clean up the graffiti, the vandals strike again. Saturday Gray says the community got together to repaint the concrete. But on Sunday morning, they woke up for more.

“The sheriff’s assistants came here and volunteered their time and less than 24 hours later that’s what happens – it’s very frustrating,” Buchmann said.

Gray wants to assure families that the township is taking action. He asks anyone who sees something to speak up.

“We are looking to try and fix this problem,” Gray said. “We are reviewing ideas with cameras in the park, areas examining anti-graffiti paint, and working with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office to ramp up the patrols.”

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