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Some Star locals not thrilled with more swimmers at Freedom Park

Star police enforcing rules and increasing presence at the pond
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jul 05, 2024

STAR, IDAHO — Many Star locals are upset with the increase of parkgoers at Freedom Park, saying trash and trespassers on private property are getting out of hand.

  • The pond at Freedom Park has blown up for families looking for something to do on a hot sunny day.
  • Homeowners on the waterfront are seeing a lot more trash float up.
  • Locals say teens and older kids are causing issues, going into private property, and being rude to homeowners.
  • Officials and locals ask that folks treat the land as their own as well.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

This summer, many families have been enjoying the nice refreshing water of Freedom Park's pond. But chatter around Star says locals aren't too happy about the presence of out-of-towners. I'm your Star neighborhood reporter Alexander Huddleston and I spoke with several homeowners about the issues they are seeing.

The pond in Freedom Park has always been open to the public, but this year it blew up bringing more people from outside of Star.

"I think it's just cleaner," said one parkgoer.

Another said, "There is a lot of room to do stuff. Like you can fish here."

"I love the sand and water and stuff. It's not a far drive from our house," explained another.

One said, "I think it's a great asset to our community and I think all of us should be able to use it."

Everyone is allowed to use it. That was Mayor Chadwick’s goal for the park when we spoke in March.

"I think it's a good thing for the community, when I bought the property I did know there was going to be a park on the other side," said waterfront homeowner, Rena Kelly.

Many locals and waterfront homeowners I spoke with wanted to stay anonymous and explained that they have seen a big increase in trash floating ashore.

Kelly said, "Water bottles are going to accidentally get in the water. Kids are kids."

But, Kelly says trash isn't even her biggest concern.

I can sit on my deck and I'm watching people pee off the deck over there, I've had people swear at me as they go by. If I say 'Hey guys you aren't supposed to be this close to the beach,' they will swear and it's just not worth fighting over."

Kelly says many times she has seen kids who swim across the lake resting on her shore. Many others say it's the teens or older kids that cause the issues. The city of Star says they have tried their best to address these issues, with an increase of police presence at the pond.

Sergeant De Bie explained, "So the city revised some of the rules. Alcohol is not allowed in the park. We had trouble with juveniles jumping off the partition on the dock. That's one of the rules. If someone doesn't want to abide by those rules and listen when we give them a warning, we will trespass them from the park."

"Sometimes you just want to sit out there and have privacy you know? It's a private beach," sighed Kelly.

One beachgoer responded to the concerns saying, "I totally get it. But, we are here to have fun and also keep it clean."

The pond is going to remain a recreation place for everyone but neighbors ask that it be treated as if it were your backyard as well.