As has been previously reported in this newspaper, Gila Community College environmental biology students of the Payson Campus spent the past two months preparing an educational walking trail on campus that will connect with the Payson Area Trail System (PATS). Their hard work has resulted in a nicely groomed, interpretive trail that provides pedestrian access to the beauty and solitude of our acreage.
Sadly, on March 24, young people with a four-wheeler (quad) circumvented our barriers and signs in order to get on this new trail. As you can imagine, they destroyed much of the past two months' work as they spun their wheels through the corners and performed their "donut" spins.
This is not the first time that the destructive "fun" of unsupervised juveniles has caused damage to the Payson campus. Regularly, young people with quads, skateboards and bikes inappropriately use our beautiful campus as a skate park. Unfortunately, they are responsible for breaking and marring cement furniture, brick walls and iron guardrails. Additionally, their unsightly tracks through our manicured grounds have kept our groundskeeper very busy making repairs. On March 24, they damaged The Rim Review newspaper box installed by the Roundup and the college.
I send this letter in order to appeal to parents and children in our area to treat our beautiful campus with care and dignity. Please do not use motorized vehicles on our interpretive trail. The Payson Campus is not a skate park, so please don't use our walls and furniture as jumps or obstacle-course items.
Thank you for helping us to keep our campus the beautiful showplace that it is.
Harry Swanson, Payson Campus Dean