Police: Manitowoc dog park, lighthouse access to re-open Monday, at earliest


MANITOWOC – Manitowoc Police say a popular lakeshore attraction will remain closed for one more day.

According to police, last week vandals spray painted, swastikas, curse words and other graffiti, on the Manitowoc Breakwater lighthouse, dog park signs and railings on the Blue Rail Trail. The trail starts along the lakeshore trail and leads out to a 24-acre man-made island on Lake Michigan.

And some residents say they're upset the actions of some, are ruining a lakefront gem for all.

It has so much to offer, and it's really sad that there have to be people that want to denigrate it," said Bonnie Bittle, who moved to Manitowoc six years ago from Denver.

Bittle frequents the trail and, occasionally, the dog park with her eight-year-old Weimaraner, Bradley.

"It's fun for the dogs to go out there too," said Bittle

The lighthouse is a popular spot to see the Manitowoc skyline or catch an up-close glimpse the Ludington, Mich. car ferry coming and going from its western port of call.

"I took my son out here, we were hoping to just go out there to the lighthouse, the car ferry's actually in right now and we're hoping to maybe just snap some photos as the car ferry was leaving,” said Michael Reno of Manitowoc. “Well, we come out to find this and, guess we won't be seeing the car ferry today."

Reno says it's sad that a person – or person's – decision to deface property is ruining it for everyone.

"I think it's wrong that they actually had to close the entire thing down, just because some kids are graffiti-ing it, because that ruins for the rest of everybody."

"Nobody wants to see our community all marked up and tagged up," said Capt. Larry Zimney with the Manitowoc Police Department.

Zimney says the department of public works was able to repaint the lighthouse Friday, but unable to get to the rest of the repairs. Zimney says the vandalism reflects on the community – and costs taxpayers too. That’s why the department wants people to be on the lookout.

"Whether it's during the daytime or nighttime hours, if they see something suspicious, give us a call, call our dispatch and give us a call and we'll go check it out."

Zimney says the department plans to allow public access to the trail, dog park and lighthouse by Monday, at the earliest. That is, if the weather cooperates with repairs.

The city says it's working on a plan to better protect the area ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, which will include security cameras.