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If they refuse to respect the property, youngsters may soon lose the use of Pelham’s Lyons Park.

And they’ll have only themselves to blame.

Of course, it is likely only a small group of youths who are tossing trash around, spraying graffiti on ramps, destroying picnic tables and generally wreaking havoc on the park. Unfortunately, that group is ruining the fun for everyone else.

Should the situation not turn around, the entire park — including the skateboard area and basketball courts — will be closed to the public on April 18. Granted, it’s unfair to the majority of users who don’t abuse the park and use the facilities wisely.

But there seems to be few options.

Even those who aren’t trashing the area are declining to obey simple safety rules. One recent day, there were 30 youngsters using the skateboard park. Not a single one was wearing a helmet, even though a sign clearly lists it as a requirement.

Town officials are upset by the flagrant disregard of rules and the destruction of property, particularly since many worked diligently to raise money to fund the $55,000 park. It took two years and much effort to complete the project.

To watch it be slowly destroyed is gut-wrenching.

Parents should encourage their children to let them know if they see anyone vandalizing the park. Those parents could then inform police, anonymously if necessary, and the children needn’t fear retribution from their peers.

If residents and town officials work together, the Lyons Park vandalism problem can be resolved.