LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is investigating after “racist and hateful” signs were spotted in Lincoln Woods State Park.
The metal signs, which were designed to look similar to the signs DEM posts throughout its state parks, were discovered attached to trees throughout Lincoln Woods.
“These are not DEM signs and the Division of Parks and Recreation did not post them,” the DEM wrote in a social media post which included photos of two of the signs. “We strongly condemn racism and discrimination.”
“It’s particularly sad that vandals have targeted Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island’s first state park which, since 1909, has existed to afford ‘the greatest good for the greatest number,'” the post continued.
DEM spokesperson Mike Healey said the signs were taken down immediately.
“It’s discriminatory and it sickens us,” Healey said. “We don’t want to think for a minute that anyone would feel intimidated or threatened to come to one of our parks.”
“We find this signage really disgusting and hateful and we hope that whoever did it gets caught,” he added.
The DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement is actively investigating the vandalism. Anyone who has information on where the signs came from is asked to call (401) 222-2284.