Lehigh Valley

Little known rules of Bethlehem parks

Little known rules of Bethlehem parks

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Before you head out to a city park in Bethlehem, you may want to think twice about what you do there.

Choose wisely when you pick a location to have a picnic or a catch because there is a long list of rules and you could unknowingly be a rule breaker.

Some city officials have said the city's park rules are antiquated and need updating.

For example, one park rule says you can't play games that involve throwing a ball or other objects unless it's in a designated area. Same with dogs - technically they're only allowed in areas with signs that state domestic animals are permitted. Climbing a tree or sitting on a wall in a city park are also on the list of what's not allowed.

"Wow, that's pretty strict," said Jake Evanish, a DeSales University student who was in Saucon Park Monday.

"Really?" said Carissa Lansing of Easton, who was enjoying time at Illicks Mill Park along the Monocacy Creek. "I think it's a little ridiculous. If they are so concerned about it they should have a sign."

Picnicking is something else only allowed in designated areas.

"I honestly had no idea what the rules were or that there were any," said George Katechis, who was eating with friends at a picnic table in the park. "Maybe the rules are just there to be rules so people don't get a little crazy, but for the most part I think people do what they want anyway."

Evanish said, "I think it's a little strict and a little overbearing but whatever keeps the city safe, I guess."

City council member Karen Dolan, the former chair of the council's Parks and Public Property Committee, said all of the rules together haven't been reviewed in decades. She said last month she hoped City Council would approve an updated parks ordinance.

City council member Cathy Reuscher, the current chair of the Parks and Public Property Committee, said City Council still plans to address the issue.

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