Kristen's Comment

Vandalism disappointing and unjustified

I returned from holidays this week only to learn that the city’s new artificial turf field at Robron Park had been vandalized recently, in a way that can’t be fixed.

Last week, city crews found glass and cigarette butts littering the field and burn marks which are irreparable.

When I hear things like this, I really start to wonder.

Why do the few have to ruin things for the many?

Campbell River Youth Soccer, men’s and women’s Island-league soccer teams, and parents wanting to kick a soccer ball around with their children are all heavy users of the field.

School groups have also been known to frequent the field and in June, Carihi hosted the B.C. provincial championship on the artificial turf field.

I realize that the field, in all of its glory, is likely a target for vandals and it’s not the first time that Robron Park has been the victim of vandalism.

I also know implementation of the turf field was a hot button topic for years in the community.

Concerns surrounding health and whether or not taxpayers really wanted the field were bandied about for years prior to council giving the turf field the go-ahead.

But that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

The point is that whoever is responsible for the damage had no right to damage city property in the manner that they or he or she did.

I can’t imagine how defeated city crews must feel.

Particularly knowing that this was not an isolated incident.

The city’s Brad Sephton said last week that minor vandalism has been an ongoing problem since the artificial turf field opened in January.

The city has even had to deal with people defecating on the centre dot in the middle of the field.

Really?!

Just where are people’s heads sometimes?

This kind of behaviour is inconsiderate, unjustified and honestly, for lack of a better word, sad.

I know vandalism is something every community deals with.

But we sure do seem to have more than our fair share here, which is disappointing because we live in a beautiful community that should be respected by its residents.

Just a couple of years ago, vandals hit the splash park – a project generously given to the community from the local Rotary Club.

Picnic benches were completely destroyed and graffiti was spray painted on the walls of the change rooms.

Again, it was city crews who had to come in and repair the damage.

I know it’s likely a handful of repeat offenders, and I know the local RCMP have over the past few years made great strides in cracking down on vandals and those spreading graffiti around town.

But it would be nice if we could make the RCMP’s and city workers’ jobs easier and maybe think twice before littering or spray painting bus benches or burning the turf field.

There’s absolutely no reason for it and it just makes our community look poorly.

It may also cause city council to think twice about wanting to do something nice for the community.

After all, every time damage of this nature occurs, it’s usually taxpayer money that goes towards repairs and/or clean-up.

Vandalism is an unfortunate reality in this community but I’m hopeful it can be curbed.

Come on Campbell River, we can do better.