BEND, OR -- A coordinated effort to reduce alcohol consumption at Bend parks and on the river seems to be working. Bend Parks and Rec parks stewards made around 120 contacts in July for drinking, "That’s almost double what they did last July," says the district's Julie Brown, "And I actually think that is a good thing. It means, because we’re paying attention to this, and we’re trying to be deliberate on trying to improve this behavior, we are making a bigger impact." She tells KBND News, "We’re not seeing the big groups of people and bringing drinking games to the park at this point in the middle of the summer, that we were seeing at the beginning of the summer. So, I think that’s actually going well."
The increased enforcement is a partnership between the parks district, Bend Police and the Sheriff’s Office, "Trying to curb some of this negative behavior that’s dangerous for individuals, and it just kind of takes away from the overall experience of enjoying the river," says Brown.
Drinking alcohol is not allowed on parks properties without a special permit, nor while floating the river. "The goal that we’re trying to do in working together this summer is to really educate people about what is not allowed, and it is making a positive difference. And I do appreciate the partnership and collaboration with all of the agencies involved, because I do think it makes our communities safer."