Vandalism takes its toll

Some Waskasoo Park shelters may lose their wood construction in exchange for steel or products resistant to fire and other forms of vandalism.

Mike Csordas and his sons Anthony and jamie and their dog Ginger walk past the closed pavilion at McKenzie Trail Recreation Area on Monday. The pavilion has been closed since a fire nearly destroyed the structure earlier this year.

Some Waskasoo Park shelters may lose their wood construction in exchange for steel or products resistant to fire and other forms of vandalism.

City Parks superintendent Trevor Poth said on Monday that the vandalism damage has been so severe at one shelter this summer that it’s closed for the year.

Struck three times by fire in the spring, the McKenzie Trail shelter in the McKenzie Trail Recreation area is now closed, Poth said.

The fires got progressively worse and caused so much structural damage the third time that the shelter was closed near the end of June.

Vandalism has hit several other shelters and park areas through the year, Poth added.

“We’ve had the fires that struck shelters and wood bins but there’s also been graffiti and broken signs,” he said.

It’s not unusual to have a fire bad enough to ignite the roof but the McKenzie shelter was hit hard.

Overall, damage costs this year are on a par with recent years, he said.

The department is examining replacing the basic wooden structures with steel. Building costs would be higher.

Poth said the steel detracts from the park theme but in the long run will be the best for maintenance and more resistant to vandalism such as fire.

He said the department will examine all of its park structures, such as benches, garbage cans and signs, to determine if they require more vandalism-resistant components.

Graffiti was noticeable this spring between the Bower area and Kin Kanyon park, Poth said.

The McKenzie shelter will require a full replacement.

Shelters cost between $50,000 to $60,000 to build.

He said the intense heat damaged concrete footings as well and they will need replacing. Authorities believe the fire damage was caused by late-night partiers.

“Unfortunately, many shelters are well out of the regular sight lines.

“It makes for a beautiful park but there’s just not enough natural surveillance.”

Poth said sufficient surveillance is a concern. However, groups like the Red Deer Ski Patrol scan the trails in terms of first aid response and also the RCMP bike patrol runs into the late morning. Park bylaw officers and park caretakers work late as well.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

NHL stays with status quo as Canada pot legalization looms

As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a… Continue reading

Paul Stanley: Kiss farewell tour could include ex-members

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It won’t be all night, but former members… Continue reading

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President… Continue reading

Most Read