Staff, volunteers fed up with vandalism, damage at Wyandotte County parks

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Park-goers in Wyandotte County are tired of the vandalism.

Vandals nearly destroyed a Kansas City, Kansas park bathroom using fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend. It’s one of several instances the county’s department of parks and recreations is addressing.

On Tuesday, photos of a recent incident from Pierson Park circulated on social media, showing destruction left by mischief-makers. Someone blew up an entire room filled with fireworks, leaving the bathroom walls and ceiling stained with gunpowder.

“We have seen some problems with vandalism, so it’s frustrating,” Angel Obert, who works for Wyandotte County Parks and Rec, said Tuesday.

Obert shared photos depicting vandalism at other local parks in Kansas City, Kansas. FOX4 cameras found graffiti at Leo Alvey Park, a broken bathroom door and shattered glass at City Park, and at Kaw Point Park, spray paint on signs and scratched fixtures used to share the park’s history.

“I feel totally comfortable here during the daylight hours, but not at night,” said Laura Calwell, president of the Friends of Kaw Point Park.

Calwell’s volunteers clean the park once per month. A storage building they use still hasn’t been repaired after being hit by a car last November. Rock fixtures and directional signs in the park are often covered with black spray paint.

Calwell wants it to stop.

“It’s very disconcerting to them to see all this damage and graffiti,” Calwell said. “Taxpayers have to clean it up. If you’re paying taxes, you’re paying for it, too. It’s not a good thing for anybody.”

Deputies with Wyandotte County’s Sheriff’s Department patrol the park often. A spokesperson for that agency said patrol units have to prioritize more serious calls for help.

If you know who’s to blame for damage to any of KCK’s public parks, please contact the TIPS Hotline at 816 474-TIPS.

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