|One kind of vandalism that has been going on for years has been on the increase in the last two years: that done by bike riders. The park is clearly posted at almost every path into the park with No Bicycle signs.|
|One kind of vandalism that has been going on for years has been on the increase in the last two years: that done by bike riders. The park is clearly posted at almost every path into the park with No Bicycle signs. But this only keeps the honest people honest, and over the last few summers, kids riding bikes on the park trails has both worn them down to ugly "roads" in some places. This last summer riders have been cutting down bushes, making new trails, and adding ramps and pits to jump over. This last weekend I removed a few of them, and collected the trash these riders had left behind them.
Bikes are a great source of transprotation, sport (I was once a bike racer), and just all-around fun. But their place is not on the trails of city parks, as the city ordinance makes clear. And some riders are distructive of the forest with no thoughts about what their actions result in, or the number of years the scars they create will last.
|This is the ramp and pit bike riders had made in the south-east corner of Lochwood Park this past summer. It is hard to tell but the hill is about two feet high and the pit about a foot deep. And there is trash all around.|
|How many items of trash can you see in this picture?|
|Probably you didn't see all of these, but even the tennis racket and the thermos came from this immediate area.|
|This is how it looks with the hill taken out and used to fill in the pit. All of this is at the edge of a hill that has been rendered lifeless because of all the bike traffic down it.|
|Mostly we think of vandalism as something kids or gangs or mobs do. And that is true. But recently, Lochwood Park has been experiencing vandalism almost certainly done by an adult or adults, and probably someone from the community.|
|The basketball court at Lochwood Park is busy most afternoons, and people travel from quite a way to play here. But about two weeks ago, late at night, someone cut down both of the goal posts. This must have been quite a bit of work, as the posts were about 3/8" thick. Then they threw them in the forest. This is actually a misdemeanor in the City of Dallas, and really down and dirty. One assumes that it was someone who did not like the noise from the courts.|
|Several years ago, the members of the Dixon Branch Homeowners Association took a vote as to whether the neighborhood wanted to keep the court active. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping them. But now someone, or several people, have decided to take the matter into their own hands, and cut them down.|
|John Stettler, who with his wife Helen has done so much for the community, decided that he would build a stronger one, and put it up at his own expense. The very same night, it too was cut down. Faced with a challenge from someone very willing to break the law, John has now built a much stronger pole, which has now been up for a week.
Here Brian flies past Ruben, two friends who were playing on the court recently. Ruben lives nearby, but Brian had come all the way from Frisco to play.
People from all over our neighborhood come to play, and the court has become a great asset to our park.
|If you closely at the pole on the left, you can see the reinforcing that was built into the pole.
|Anyone with any information about who might be cutting down the poles is encouraged to contact the Dallas Police Department.|
|This is more evidence of neighborhood vandalism. Right outside the front door of Martha T Reilly, someone has painted over the signs proclaiming the school a drug and gun free area. Sadly ironic.|
|This kind of vandalism is even more troubling, and seems to happen far too often inside Lochwood Park. Beautiful trees are cut down, just for the sick thrill of it, and then left to rot. Quite a number of the 'cedar' trees in Lochwood Park have been cut down, some of them by this young man, who admitted as much to me. This kind of distruction is happening every month in Lochwood Park, and I hope that all of us will be on watch to discourage such behavior.|
|These trees will never recover, and this part of the forest is now both bare, and much more subject to erosion.|