LONGVIEW, Wash -- P.J. Enbusk loves bringing her grandchildren to Lake Sacajawea Park in Longview. She even goes by herself sometimes.
“It’s beautiful and refreshing,” she said. “It’s a great way to start the day.”
But Enbusk has started to notice an unsettling change.
“We’ve seen people sleeping under bridges, just scary looking people.”
That observation coincides with a series of disturbing discoveries. Parks employees are finding used needles in bathrooms, trash cans, and bushes in Lake Sacajawea Park and other neighboring parks.
“That bothers me when there are children who can get poked, the general public, my folks,” said parks supervisor Curt Nedved.
According to Nedved, he is also seeing a spike in vandalism, but the city is focusing on the needles. They have found more than two dozen since the beginning of the year. City officials plan to build secure containers for the syringes.
“I don’t want them placed outside,” said Nedved. “I don’t want children or the public to get them.”
“I hate to see any of my kids or friends pick one up and get some sort of disease or hurt themselves,” Enbusk added.
She has no other choice than to be extra vigilant when she visits Longview parks.
“Take care of my grandkids, don’t let them touch anything.”