Vanadals strike Tacoma parks

Vandals tore up newly installed turf on the playfields at Stewart Heights and Portland Avenue Parks this week, according to Metro Parks Tacoma.

“This is so discouraging,” said Planning, Design and Construction Manager Doug Fraser. “Beyond the time and financial impacts it creates, this senseless act has left the fields in a condition that they won’t be able to recover in time hurting the teams that are depending on them.”

According to Fraser, after breaking through construction fencing, the individuals drove recklessly through the fields where projects have been underway to enhance drainage, irrigation and turf as part of the 2005 Park Improvement Bond.

Field improvement work at the parks began in early fall so construction would be completed in time for use during the 2009 sports season. As a result of the destruction done to the fields and time needed for turf to establish, it is highly unlikely that these fields will recover and be ready for use until Spring 2010.

Vandals caused similar damage at Jefferson Park, another site where bond improvements had already been completed as well as Optimist, Franklin, Kandle and Fern Hill Parks.

Anyone who may have witnessed vehicles or knows of the individuals involved in any of these incidents is asked to contact the Tacoma Police Department.