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Vandalism in parks an increasing concern

Acts of vandalism occurring in Woodbury parks have increased significantly this summer, and the cost to local taxpayers – for repairs and staff time – is becoming more substantial. As a result, the Public Safety Department is requesting the public’s help in finding those responsible.

“Woodbury, like most communities, has experienced minor issues with graffiti and vandalism in the past,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt. “But the incidents seem to have ramped up in recent weeks.”

Extensive damage has occurred at HealthEast Sports Center, with four broken toilets, one damaged urinal, and a broken window at the Madison’s Place playground restroom building being the worst of the recent destructive acts. Damage is typically occurring in the late evening hours. These incidents will cost more than $2,000 to repair. Other extensive damage has been discovered at Ojibway Park and Stonemill Farms Park.

“The Madison’s Place restrooms have been vandalized repeatedly. Toilets are almost continually broken, damaged or plugged. Repairs are costly due to the nature and volume of the damage,” Klatt said. “As a result, we are increasing the number of hours when the restrooms will be locked.” 

Other parks experiencing vandalism include:

  • Carver Lake Park, where graffiti has been painted on the off-road bike trail maintenance storage container multiple times and the solar charging panels were stolen.
  • Colby Lake Park, where the park building window was broken
  • Multiple trail tunnels, where graffiti has been painted multiple times
  • Edgewater Park, where extensive damage has been done to the portable toilets
  • Madison’s Place splash pad, where one of the flower water features was broken 

Public’s help needed
As a result of all the damage, the Woodbury Public Safety Department is asking the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in the parks facilities and promptly report it to police.

“Vandalism is becoming a serious issue in Woodbury,” said John Altman, patrol commander in the Public Safety Department. “We are asking people who live near parks to report any suspicious activities in progress by calling 911.”

If you are using the parks and trails and notice vandalism that has already occurred, please report it by calling non-emergency dispatch at (651) 439-9381. The city strives to repair damaged property as quickly as possible.