Vandals are beating us up, says Dave Smith, city parks superintendent.
The list of city parks victimized this past weekend and the weekend before is nearly too long to list, says Smith.
Smith says Riverside Park and the city’s skate park and restroom there have been particularly hard hit. Meanwhile, racist graffiti, he said, has been splattered in the rest rooms at Van Vechten Park.
He calls the damage “extremely heavy” a weekend ago and “very heavy” during the weekend just ended. He terms the racist spray-painting “troubling.”
Unfortunately, he adds, vandalism is part of the reality of running a park system.
The period when youngsters get out of school in the spring, he says, can be the toughest time for parks.
“Those first few days, when it turns warm, it’s like a shark smelling blood,” Smith says of youngsters. “They just get wild. We’ve taken this kind of licking before. It’s not unprecedented. But it will get your attention.”