Vandals strike Abbotsford’s Berry Park: Residents say teens have been wrecking the area

Trees lie on their side, snapped off and left for dead. A pile of chain link fence has been ripped from it's frame and sits useless on the ground. Netting hangs limply by a thread from a nearby basketball hoop.

Saddened neighbours look around Abbotsford's Berry Park, shaking their heads at the damage.

Gail Blagdon and Susanne Davies, two members of the Woof Pack dog walking group, stand next to a tree that was cut down in Berry Park. They say vandals are destroying what was a beautiful spot for families.

Gail Blagdon and Susanne Davies, two members of the Woof Pack dog walking group, stand next to a tree that was cut down in Berry Park. They say vandals are destroying what was a beautiful spot for families.

Trees lie on their side, snapped off and left for dead. A pile of chain link fence has been ripped from it’s frame and sits useless on the ground. Netting hangs limply by a thread from a nearby basketball hoop.

Saddened neighbours look around Abbotsford’s Berry Park, shaking their heads at the damage.

The cause? It wasn’t a wind storm, no natural disaster, its kids.

Vandalism has plagued the park since it was created and Susanne Davies is tired of it.

The local resident is one of several members of the Woof Pack, a group of dog owners who walk their pets, up to three times a day, at the park.

They have taken it upon themselves to keep the area clean, but the constant vandalism has them discouraged.

“Any destruction they can do, they do,” said Davies.

She claims it’s a large group of teens who hang out in the park, usually at night, that are causing the destruction.

The damages have varied from graffiti, to broken gates, stolen manhole covers to killing trees.

“They even burned the outhouse, right to the ground.”

To make matters worse, Davies says it’s common knowledge that drugs are being sold in the area as well.

“We see them walk into the bushes and then back out in just a few seconds. You know what they are doing.”

Davies said the dog walking group is not intimidated, because they usually walk as a group.

“But you see a senior couple, walking hand in hand and suddenly they get yelled at and sworn at by these people … it’s sad,” she said.

The Abbotsford Police have been called in on several occasion, but usually those responsible for the destruction are long gone. However Davies said the police did arrest three suspect just last week.

“It’s a start.”

Some residents are hoping the city might install camera to help catch the vandals in the act, or at least leave the park lights on at night.

“We need to do something, it’s just ridiculous.”

Davies is hopeful that removing some of the bushes and trees will open up the park and bring the vandals activities to light.

“We finally get something nice in our neighbourhood and they’re destroying it,” she said.

 

Abbotsford News