BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Rec sees a big increase in drinking, this year. "Our Park Steward team, so far in June, has contacted 45 different individuals or groups who were consuming alcohol, and asked them to dump it out, pack it away," says the district's Julie Brown. "We do have the possibility of excluding somebody and not allowing them on any of our Park properties for 30 days or even longer." Violators also face the possibility of fines, criminal citation or even arrest by Bend Police.
Brown says there is a rarely-used permit available for alcohol consumption, "But it was intended so if a small group of of-age adults wanted to have a picnic and have an alcoholic beverage as a part of that, that there would be a permit process available so they could do that." She says recent infractions are far from that "small group of adults" allowed with a permit, "These tend to be larger groups; we’re also seeing some minors that are coming to consume alcohol in the parks, as well as on the river."
In some cases, she tells KBND News, parties get rowdy, "These are larger groups and they’re coming with pingpong tables and drinking games, and kind of setting up in the parks. It’s just not the family friendly public space experience that we think everybody in the community should expect to be able to have in our parks."
Through July 12th, Bend PD, and the Sheriff’s Office Swift Water Rescue team are at Riverbend Park with park stewards to help educate people about rules and safety.