HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – Your high school English teacher was right: Grammar is important.
An effort to protect a project in Cool Creek Park is causing some confusion, all because of a grammatical error.
Last summer, the county invested $125,000 in rock and netting to prevent erosion along Cool Creek. It’s since been guarded by a fence and signs posted by the county that aren’t necessarily getting the message across.
“They put these up right before Halloween,” parkgoer Toby Bedford said.
Bedford says he routinely walks through the park and admits several of the posted signs are the source of some confusion.
“‘Do not to throw the rocks.’ So… we got the gist of it, but somebody made a mistake,” Bedford said.
The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department put up signs in October, saying “Do not to throw the rocks. Parents to be responsible for their children who can’t or don’t read.”
Department spokesman Allen Patterson says although there’s a mistake, the sign should be pretty clear.
“If someone starts throwing the rocks, then that leaves that part of the stream bank unguarded,” Patterson said. “Put (in) rocks and people just want to go throw them – it’s fun. Kids like to throw rocks and watch them splash.”
Patterson says the signs are a preventative measure, warning parents they could get hit with vandalism or destruction of property charges if kids don’t cooperate.
“It may be a little harsh,” Patterson said. “But it’s a $100,000 investment in infrastructure.”
Bedford says he often takes his grandkids to the park. While he makes sure they don’t throw rocks, he says a grammatically correct sign might ensure that other kids don’t either.
Hamilton County wants to stress the fact that this is a proactive measure: No one wants to prosecute parents.
After bringing the typo to their attention, the department put up new signs Wednesday afternoon.
Follow Mike Pelton on Twitter: @mikepeltonrtv6