Individuals who damage public property usually fail to realize - or ignore - the ramifications of their irresponsible behavior.
That's probably true regarding those who created large ruts in Greenwood Park in Logan Township, apparently with four-wheel all-terrain vehicles. According to the township supervisors, without repairs, the park won't be usable for spring soccer practices and games.
What a shame, not only for the young people who depend on the park's availability but also for township taxpayers. When township crews or private contractors must be used to repair such damage, the financial "hit" is absorbed by the taxpayers.
What those responsible for the damage are too shortsighted - "stupid" is a better adjective - to recognize or acknowledge is that perhaps taxes paid by themselves, parents or relatives will be tapped to carry out the repair work.
Beyond that, the perpetrators have opened themselves to criminal charges, if authorities are able to identify who damaged the property.
Anyone with information or suspicions about who might have caused the damage should get in touch with the township police. Those providing tips can remain anonymous.
It can be assumed someone living in the vicinity of the park is aware of who rides such vehicles. By not coming forward, those with that knowledge are doing the township a disservice.
According to a recent article in the Mirror, Supervisor Ed Frontino suggested that the township consider installing hidden video cameras to protect the park grounds.
That's an option. However, taxpayers should not have to bear the financial burden associated with that remedy - and there's no guarantee that the camera or cameras would not be located, damaged or destroyed by vandals.
The best recourse is identifying and prosecuting those responsible for the damage, and for the courts to impose a penalty that includes reimbursing the township for the costs of repairing the destruction.
"It's an absolute shame for these individuals to think that they can get away with this and suffer no retaliation," Frontino said.
But that might happen, if nobody steps forward with the needed information. It's unlikely that the vehicle or vehicles in question came to Greenwood Park from a distant location.
In the same Mirror article, Supervisor Joe Metzgar was quoted as saying that the township had encountered a similar problem at Fye Field until the township fenced it in. Again, township taxpayers incurred an unnecessary cost at the hands of irresponsible individuals.
Communities sometimes are criticized for not providing recreational opportunities or facilities. Logan Township doesn't deserve such criticism.
The township police should continue an active investigation into who caused the Greenwood Park damage, and if the individuals are apprehended, the county court system should use this case as an opportunity not to show leniency.
In the meantime, the township should compile photo evidence of the damage and repair process to be used in connection with criminal charges.
It is said that spring is the time when nature comes back to life. It shouldn't be a time for assessing intentional damage.