GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Gadsden and Central Alabama Crimestoppers are offering a $1,500 cash reward for information that leads to the arrests of the people suspected of vandalizing Noccalula Falls.
“Terrible, terrible, terrible,” says Donna Nethery, an out-of-town visitor to the park.
The people of Gadsden are angry and disappointed that twice in the last two weeks, people have spray-painted vulgar and offensive things along different trails in the park.
“It’s a nostalgic place for a lot of us who live in this area and to see someone just walk in with a can of spray paint and ruin the natural beauty, people are a little bit up in arms,” Brett Johnson, the city’s Chief of Staff, said.
The city says it wants to make examples out of the people who vandalized the park and show it has a “zero-tolerance policy.”
“I just want anyone out there to know if they’re interested in some kind of activity like spray painting and graffiti of public property, especially this park, you’re not looking at a slap on the wrist and get out of jail free card, you’re looking at the maximum possible penalty that can be applied in that case,” says Johnson.
Even tourists say they’re tired of hearing about and seeing the destruction of beautiful areas like Noccalula Falls.
“People need to be respectful of history and nature. People come here to see nature, not people’s artwork or whatever they call it. Graffiti? I think it’s terrible,” says Nethery. “It’s just tarnished now. Tarnished is exactly what it is.”
The city isn’t sure how long it will take to clean the graffiti because it doesn’t want to destroy the natural beauty.