BOGART, Ga. -- University of Georgia employees at the Plant Science Farm in Oconee County recently put up new “No trespassing” signs in the wake of some thefts and vandalism on the research farm. But on Thursday, the signs were found ripped down and thrown into a field, according to an Oconee County Sheriff’s report.
“That took us by surprise,” a spokesman for the farm said Friday. “It’s always been posted. We just didn’t really try to enforce it, but it’s gotten out of control. You can’t tell just one person to stop without telling everybody, so we had to enforce the rules.”
People had increasingly been coming onto the farm to fish in the lake, or ride four-wheelers and horses, according to the sheriff’s report. And with the increase in people came an increase in problematic issues.
The farm is located along Snows Mill Road in Bogart, near North Oconee High School, and is used for crop research. None of the research projects have been damaged, the spokesman said.
An employee at the farm told a deputy that there had been recent vandalism, including damage to a pavilion near the lake and to farm equipment. Also, a battery was recently removed from an irrigation pump.
“There’s a lot of stuff that can be damaged out here, like equipment in the field — and possibly, they could get hurt,” the spokesman said.
The deputy asked Plant Science employees to also notify UGA’s police department.