Vandals have damaged urinals and broken toilets and a window at the HealthEast (formerly Bielenberg) Sports Center this summer, all part of an increasing number of destructive acts that have been reported recently in Woodbury parks, city officials said.
The damage at the center and adjacent Madison’s Place playground at 4125 Radio Drive has cost the city more than $2,000 in repairs. Extensive damage also has been reported in Ojibway and Stonemill Farms parks.
“Woodbury, like most communities, has experienced minor issues with graffiti and vandalism in the past, but the incidents seem to have ramped up in recent weeks,” said Bob Klatt, the city’s parks and recreation director. “The Madison’s Place restrooms have been vandalized repeatedly. Toilets are continually broken, damaged or plugged. Repairs are costly due to the nature and volume of damage.”
As a result, the city will increase the number of hours restrooms are locked, Klatt said.
Damage at Madison’s Place, a 16,000-square-foot handicapped-accessible playground, also has included a broken flower on the playground’s splash pad. Portable toilets have been damaged at Edgewater Park, solar charging panels have been stolen from Carver Lake Park and a window was broken at Colby Lake Park. Graffiti has been sprayed in several trail tunnels.
Most of the damage is occurring in the late evening hours, officials said.
“Vandalism is becoming a serious issue in Woodbury,” said John Altman, a patrol commander with the Woodbury Public Safety Department.
He and parks officials are asking the public to report suspicious activities in parks by calling 911 or the police department’s nonemergency dispatch at 651-439-9381.