When a lock appeared on the gate into the Barriere pickleball/tennis court by the cemetery, sporting a sign noting the facility would be locked from dawn to dusk area residents raised a hue and cry.
“This is the one good thing teenagers in Barriere can do and now they can’t?” posted one resident on social media.
Others who live in the area say they have never seen any destructive behaviour to the court, so why the lock?
District of Barriere Councilor Al Fortin was also surprised to hear the court was locked at dusk.
“That is a multi use court,” said Fortin, “Dusk at this time of the year is around 6 p.m. so kids have just eaten dinner and are heading outside to play.
“I live across the street and have spent my fair share of time volunteering on that facility and recently another group has spent some funds towards the cost of resurfacing the court. A couple of weeks ago they had to sweep up some glass that had been broken in there.
“Stuff like that is unfortunate and frustrating but it is no reason to punish everyone else that uses the facility. If someone wants to be irresponsible and break glass on the court they can just throw the bottle over the cage onto the surface and the only thing that has changed is the people that were using it responsibly have to become the criminal and climb over the fence to use it after dusk. Instead of punishing the good people, police the bad ones.”
The Star/Journal spoke with District of Barriere Parks Manager Chris Matthews just before press time on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Matthews confirmed that a lock had been placed on the gate into the courts but that would no longer be the case.
“After vandalism happened, including spray painting and trying to build a fire in there took place, the Barriere Outdoor Club was locking up at dusk to protect the facility,” said Matthews, “This is no longer the case and the lock has been permanently removed.”
Matthews says the court is for everyone’s enjoyment and it is a shame that vandalism has occurred. “Hopefully people will behave themselves, and if anyone sees anything out of the ordinary I hope they will report it.”
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