Vandalism at Twin Ponds Park!

9 Sep

The serious carnage began Friday, August 17 in ‘Open Space’.  I was shocked to see a big hole cut through the native shrubs I planted a decade ago.  Stunned, I followed the 6 – 12′ path of destruction all the way to the little side path to the ‘Southern Forest’.  This energetic, misguided male (no woman would do this) was following our line of mostly conifers and limbing up every tree.  Some were malpruned 6′ up the trunk.  Dozens of native shrubs were hacked to the ground including many Sword ferns.  Whenever he saw conifers we had planted to the left or right he went right after them.  51 of our trees were malpruned or mutilated, 42 of them conifers.

The carnage continued throughout the weekend and into the following week.  I had the bad luck of always being in the park when he was not and vice versa.  Finally I caught him in the act at 7:30 A.M. on Wednesday, August 22.  I photographed him as he hacked and slashed in the ‘Arboretum Annex’.  He agreed to go to City Hall with me and I ended up giving his name and necessary information to the Shoreline Police.  Later a Deputy Sheriff came to the park and took a complete statement from me.

The culprit, a 61 year old South Korean, took it upon himself to cut a fire trail through the heart of the park.  The fire in the Cle Elum area persuaded him to take action at Twin Ponds Park.  Unwittingly, he was actually creating a fire hazard in the park with a double edge effect and piles of dried out branches during the longest dry spell in Seattle recorded history!

The pictures below don’t really capture the true damage, but they give you an idea.

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