Vandalism found at Lake Ellis beach in Athol

This metal handicap-accessible picnic table at Lake Ellis was found badly bent when lifeguards went to open the beach on Tuesday. The Friends of Lake Ellis is collecting donations to replace the table and a charcoal grill, which was broken.

This metal handicap-accessible picnic table at Lake Ellis was found badly bent when lifeguards went to open the beach on Tuesday. The Friends of Lake Ellis is collecting donations to replace the table and a charcoal grill, which was broken. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Spray paint was found on the bathroom doors at Lake Ellis. A local contractor has volunteered to paint over it.

Spray paint was found on the bathroom doors at Lake Ellis. A local contractor has volunteered to paint over it. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By MAX BOWEN

Athol Daily News Editor

Published: 06-12-2024 11:06 AM

Modified: 06-12-2024 4:01 PM


ATHOL – On Tuesday, lifeguards at Lake Ellis went to the beach to open it for the summer season, only to find significant damage to the picnic table, swing set and bathroom doors.

According to John Robertson, president of the Friends of Lake Ellis, there was graffiti spray-painted on the bathroom doors, a swing set and a charcoal grill, which was also broken. A metal, handicapped-accessible picnic table was badly bent. Robertson said that both of his daughters are lifeguards at Lake Ellis and told him about the damage.

“They tore it up, the doors, the seats on the swing set, just destroyed it,” said Robertson on Wednesday. “We’ve had instances with spray paint before, but nothing like this. This was just a lot. Somehow they bent the metal picnic table.”

The Friends of Lake Ellis is a nonprofit that has raised funds for a number of improvements to the beach area, including the installation of tables on concrete pads, the swing set and a boat ramp. According to Robertson, they’re working on improving the bathrooms into a more family-friendly model.

‘People love it, they enjoy it very much,” Robertson said of the beach. “A free beach with amenities, that’s really one of the gemstones that the town has.”

Robertson added that a local contractor has volunteered to paint over the graffiti.

Lake Ellis is located near Athol High School and is a popular spot for boaters, swimmers and fishers. There is a boat launch at 200 Lake Ellis Road. Lake Ellis is one of two recreational lakes in Athol, with the other being Silver Lake.

The Friends of Lake Ellis are seeking donations to replace the destroyed handicap-accessible picnic table, valued at $1,500, and the charcoal grill, valued at $500. Donations can be made by going to the organization’s Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/5n8ztfm9.

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Max Bowen can be reached at 413-930-4074 or mbowen@atholdailynews.com.