Letter: Vandals deprive Walnut Grove kids of playtime

Dear Editor,

It is all too familiar a problem for parents and caregivers: vandalism in our local parks.

As daycare operators, we spend a lot of time at the playground, and it is common to see damage, litter, and graffiti, especially after a weekend. We are sure these are remnants of young people drinking at the park the night before.

Whenever we go to a local playground, our first priority is to check the area for anything that could be harmful to the children before allowing them to play.

We have come to expect that some level of cleanup will be needed when we arrive.

When we visited our local park at 212th Street and 93rd Avenue, what we found was upsetting. There was broken glass from a beer bottle throughout the entire play area, which is covered in pea gravel.

It took my friend and me more than an hour to pick up as much of the glass as we could, but we are sure there must have been more that we couldn’t see, hidden under the tiny rocks.

Needless to say, the children missed their playtime, but now we have the added concern about what could happen in future visits. What might these preschoolers dig up with their tiny buckets and shovels.

It is infuriating to think that the person responsible probably thinks it’s cool, fun, or entertaining, instead of what it really is: immature, irresponsible, against the law, and just plain stupid.

So parents, please share this story with your kids. Remind them of the potential harm this type of behaviour can cause, especially to small children.

It only takes one stupid kid to break the bottle, but if others get the message, perhaps they will discourage that one kid from doing it again. We can only hope.

Sandra Firth, Walnut Grove

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