Pokemon Go Players Offer To Help Keep Fort Phoenix Clean
Pokemon Go players being blamed for the recent vandalism and litter at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven are offering to help with the problems.
With Pokemon Go bringing massive amounts of people to the historic site, many officials have reported damage to the structures, and even defecation around the area. These problems, according to residents, mostly occur after the park closes at 10pm.
At Monday's Fairhaven Board of Selectmen meeting, locals for and against the popular mobile game voiced their view on the subject.
Pokemon Go player, Josh Powers, said he understands the issues that have come with the huge crowds, and says the Pokemon Go community is willing to work with the town to stop the late-night problems.
"We don't want to trash the fort at all. We love the fort. I've grown up here my whole life. Seeing so many people at the fort is amazing, in my opinion. You know, kids that I've known litterally to never leave their house to interact with people are now socializing with people they would never speak to," Powers said.
Powers and other Pokemon Go players who spoke during the meeting offered to organize trash clean-ups, along with collecting money to support the historic military fort.
Players said they plan to spread the word online through Pokemon Facebook groups.
A number of frustrated locals supported increasing regulation at the fort, such as requiring payment for parking and giving out tickets to people there after closing. Resident Barbara Tyson says while the garbage issues have improved, she still worries about distracted drivers.
Fairhaven Historical Commision member, Gary Lavalette, said the park had received a year's worth of foot-traffic in only 28 days.
With all this, there is still the chance the Pokemon crowds will move on from the site either way.
Dan Silvia, a tornament organizer for the Pokemon company, said people from as far as Maine have traveled to Fort Phoenix to catch two rare Pokemon in particular. However, Silvia says those Pokemon have left Fairhaven in the game, and many players haven't realized it yet.
"They're going to go on their computer and say, 'Why aren't these guys here anymore?' and they're going to find out this migration thing. So now I think we're going to see, not tomorrow, but in a couple days, maybe weeks, less traffic down [at the fort]," Silvia said.
The Board of Selectmen will put an official plan together to address the issues, which may include earlier closing times, parking fees, and adding porta potties around the fort.