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Provo Park Trimmed to Uncover Violators

Provo Park Trimmed to Uncover Violators

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The wildlife finding refuge in the Paul Ream Wilderness Park has included lovers and drug users.

So the city is making the wild area are a little tamer.

City crews on Tuesday were clearing brush and trees that had overgrown a part of the park designed to be semiwooded.

In the approximately four years since crews last cleared the park, parts of it had become so overgrown that parents sometimes could not see their children if they slipped into the wooded area.

Over the years, the spot has become a secluded place where people perform sex acts, expose themselves and do drugs and where underage youths drink alcohol, said police Lt. Stan Eggen.

Officers perform sweeps of the park and also use it for undercover stings.

"It's been that way for years," Eggen said. "It's a little isolated out there."

Max S. Mitchell, Parks and Recreation assistant director, said crews are working to improve the safety of the park and restore some of paths that have been blocked by blackberry bushes and trees.

Judy Kelsch said she has had misgivings about taking her grandchildren to the park since hearing of the illegal conduct.

After she became a neighborhood chairwoman in January, she talked to other neighborhood leaders and plans were made to fund a park cleanup.

However, that money won't be necessary. The project is being completed by crews doing their normal jobs.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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