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‘Disgusting’ park vandalism could take Bellingham officials months to fix

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Vandals targeted a scenic Bellingham park and caused extensive damage. Officials said someone drove their vehicle into Boulevard Park and tore up the grass. They also said it could take months to fix.

“It’s just disgusting. Absolutely disgraceful,” said James Robins, who frequents Boulevard Park.

The park has been the talk of the town since Sunday morning after someone destroyed the park’s lawn.

“I noticed it right away, it’s pretty obvious,” said Bill Weissenborn, who goes to the park regularly too.

“They intentionally ruined the whole greenery. They didn’t just do it one or two passes. I couldn’t believe it. They spun around three or four times up there came down here spun all about down here,” said Robins.

Bellingham’s Parks Operations Manager, Steve Janiszewski, said the vandalism happened around 4 a.m. on Sunday. Someone nearby did call 911, but the vandals were gone by the time police arrived. 

Janiszewski also said this is the worst time of year here in Washington to have to repair a lawn.

“Because of the rain, it’s cold, the grass really isn’t growing so we have a lot of work now to do to repair this damage,” said Janiszewski. “It’s going to take thousands of dollars in restoration in both grass and fertilizer and topsoil.”

Janiszewski said there’s no hard number yet on how much it’ll cost to fix the damage but one thing is for sure, it’s a public park so taxpayers will have to foot the bill.

“If you’re old enough to drive a vehicle, you’re old enough to be mature not to do that,” said Weissenborn. 

“It’s sad, it really is, that people can be so selfish and so self-centered to disrespect everyone’s enjoyment,” said Robins.

Janiszewski said they’re also working to get staff to man the park at closing to keep the gate closed and cars out. If the person responsible for the recent damage is caught, the could be fined.