Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Vandals damage Children’s Park

 

Photo by Riki Frea Vandals have damaged one of the posts on the pergola, as well as the critters on the play structures. Chalk has ended up on the side of the building instead of just on the sidewalk.

Vandals have once again damaged the Niwot Children’s Park, and the Niwot Cultural Arts Association is taking steps to curb the destruction. Two neighbors have reported late-night activity at the park recently, and Building Committee member Riki Frea noticed that someone had carved into one of the posts at the pergola, and that more of the concrete critters adorning some of the play structures had been damaged.

Damage to the critters was noticed last fall, and Frea and representatives of Landscape Structures, the manufacturer, took steps to repair the damage. Now they will attempt to make repairs again. Landscape Structures arranged with Frea to do a photo-shoot in the park July 14, with photos likely to appear in the company’s catalogues in the future. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the photo shoot,” Frea said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results.”

The park has been bustling with children all summer, and especially during the Thursday night concert series next door in Whistle Stop Park. Unfortunately, that has led to people leaving trash in the park, or putting trash, such as dirty diapers, in the compost bins at Whistle Stop.

Biff Warren, one of the co-managers of the concerts, did a walk-through of the Children’s Park before the July 13 concert and found that someone had tried to flush a diaper down the toilet in the women’s restroom, which caused the toilet to overflow. “That wasn’t done by a 2-year-old changing his own diaper,” Warren commented. “We had hoped that the community would take enough pride in the park to take care of it, and that includes monitoring bad behavior by others.” Warren noted that the park hours, posted on the back of the entrance sign, are from sunrise to sunset, as the park is designed for daytime use only. The NCAA, which manages the park for Boulder County, plans to install additional signs noting the hours, and the penalties for trespassing. “We encourage anyone who sees activity at the park after hours to call the Boulder County Sheriff,” Warren said.

In addition, two members of the community have come forward to offer a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone damaging the park. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Northern Colorado Crimestoppers at 800-222-8477, or text NOCO to 274637. Warren can be reached at bwarren@niwotlaw.com.

Photo by Riki Frea Another example of vandalism at the Niwot Children’s Park. Many people have worked hard to make this a nice feature for the community to enjoy, and will continue to work to make sure vandals do not continue to deface the park.

“Signs are important,” Warren noted, “but we have many people who ignore the ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ signs, and expect us to pick up their trash. I’ve explained to several people that this is not a city park, and there are no trash receptacles. The sign means what it says. Our maintenance costs each year are over $8,000, and we are not prepared to take on added expenses.” When people dump trash in the compost bins next door, it contaminates the entire bin, and results in additional expense for the concert series.

Frea and others have also had to deal with paint on the sidewalk, that doesn’t come off in the rain. A facebook post by Frea got the desired result, and the paint was mostly removed by the offending adult scrubbing it down. Chalk has ended up not only on the sidewalk, but on the stone on the side of the building. “We need the community’s help in keeping the park safe and attractive for all of the children who use it,” Warren said. “It’s really disappointing when a few people ruin it for everybody else. The message to the public is, ‘This is your park - please take care of it.’”

 

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