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Athletic field damaged during act of vandalism

An athletic field used by the Palmerton Towamensing Athletic Association is in rough shape after being victimized by vandalism.

The damage was done to the Towamensing Lower Field, located at 690 Summer Mountain Road, Lehighton, according to Mike Netznik, association president.

Netznik said the damage appears to be from a side-by-side tearing up the parking area, as well as the area where the youth go between the parking lot and fields.

“That’s the field that us, in conjunction with the township, have spent the last five years getting ready to be able to play games there,” Netznik said. “There was a lot of money over these years getting it ready, spent by both our league, and also our township to be sure this was available for softball and baseball programs to be used.”

Netznik said the end result is a lot of dirt and mud has been thrown on the dugouts, while the Porta-Potty and bleachers also were covered.

“Which makes it kind of difficult for us to safely keep the kids social distanced; that’s our big thing, trying to make sure we have a season,” Netznik said. “And when something like this comes, it’s kind of difficult in short notice to let parents know they need to bring additional chairs, a spot to sit.”

Netznik said it is believed the damage took place Wednesday night “based on when the coaches were leaving the field on Wednesday, and based on other activities that were at the field.”

“The result in having to have volunteers who are already coaching, who are already spending time on other projects on the field, on the weekend or a couple days next week, that those areas are properly cleaned,” he said. “At some point there’s going to be games played, and we need to be sure that the fields are in a condition the kids can safely use.”

Netznik said the next games are scheduled to be played early next week, noting that with the damage that’s been done, along with Gov. Tom Wolf’s recommendation, some adjustments may have to be made to the location.

The damage isn’t new to the field, Netznik said.

“This is not first time we had somebody do this,” he said. “The last time, we actually had volunteers from the Towamensing Fire Department bring their fire truck out and washed all that off there.”

Netznik said it’s unfortunate that there are those who feel the need to try to wreck things for others.

“It’s a shame, because in this time when so much is going on in the country with the virus and lockdown, we’re trying to provide the kids with an outlet,” he said. “And others are trying to take it away from them.”

Netznik said if anyone wants to reach out to him, they may call him at 484-332-1617.

A look at the Towamensing Lower Field, located at 690 Summer Mountain Road, where vandalism is believed to have occurred sometime Wednesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The dugout and Porta-Potty weren't spared from the vandalism, judging by the amount of dirt and mud can that can be observed. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO