PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Parks Commission is looking to strengthen the rules for both park and conservation areas.
The city recently saw large groups of youth causing mayhem in Springside Park by fighting and using air rifles. The city has added language to specifically outlaw those and BB guns to strengthen police authority to enforce the rules.
"The most changed language in here is under the enforcement," said Parks and Open Spaces Manager Jim McGrath.
McGrath said he worked with police chief, the city solicitor, and conservation agent to develop a new set of rules. Regarding weapons, firearms had been banned but language was added to read "air/Co2 rifles or BB guns not limited to; pellet guns, pellet or BB pistols, AirSoft guns, paintball guns."
Additional language was also added regarding conduct specifically adding "engaging in fighting, assaultive, threatening, tumultuous or reckless behavior" to the rules.
The new rules also strengthen language to outlaw drones from being flown. The rules had prohibited "model airplane" and that is proposed to be changed to "radio-controlled aircraft or other unmanned aerial vehicles in areas set apart for such types of recreation."
The rules are expected to be for both parks and conservation spaces, meaning they would need to be approved by both the Conservation Commission and the Parks Commission.
The Parks Commission did question an existing rule that said "no game may be played within a city park or conservation area involving thrown or otherwise propelled objects such as balls, arrows, javelins." The Parks Commission questioned whether or not that would exclude things like tossing a Frisbee or throwing a football.
"I think the intent is objects that are thrown that could be dangerous," McGrath said but agreed the wording could be more specific on that.
The new rules won't necessarily be posted inside the parks but will be available online and in City Hall. The intent is more focused on giving the city the authority to stop certain behaviors.
"Posting rules and regulations is sometimes just another sign that folks often don't even look at. The important thing is we have them on file," McGrath said.
Violations of the rules could result in fines or being banned from the parks. The fines are outlined in state law and there is a $250 cap on those.
The Parks Commission said the new rules overall look fine but would like some time to get those couple of changes in place and to review them for any other discrepancies.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Wetland issues have derailed planned improvements to Pontsoosuc Lake Park.
The Friends of Pontoosuc Lake received $15,000 from the Community Preservation Act with the intent to restore the beach on the Hancock Road side. The city's Parks, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager Jim McGrath, however, said it was found that the former beach has essentially turned into wetlands.
"We can't disturb that area of Pontoosuc Park," McGrath told the Parks Commission on Tuesday.
McGrath said the way the drainage currently is in the park has led to wetland soils and plants covering the former beach so it is now treated as a resource area. McGrath said options now would be to re-orient the stairway and create another beach in another location. But, "it is going to be an involved project."
Wetland issues have derailed planned improvements to Pontsoosuc Lake Park.
The Friends of Pontoosuc Lake received $15,000 from the Community Preservation Act with the intent to restore the beach on the Hancock Road side. The city's Parks, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager Jim... click for more
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