CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s agony and stress at a place children love to visit. The Walnut Grove had some unexplained damage in the playground. It’s a lean non-profit, so any repair expense is a heavy burden.
Splinters remain from where the Little Free Library was broken off its post.
“It’s really disheartening. We put a lot of blood sweat and tears into this playground,” said Corey Patrick, past president of The Walnut Grove.
Two drums were damaged. The plastic skins were broken and cost $250 to replace them.
“Quite frankly, we prepare for some of this stuff. We prepare for maintenance and upkeep, but no one ever really prepares you for intentional vandalism,” Patrick said.
The inclusive playground already had to fix the drums another time this year, plus repair a table, and restroom doors. The park is only open during the day. There are no lights. One solution it’s considering is security cameras.
“We don’t have a great place for that. We have no internet connection; we have no place to keep any type of equipment safe from the elements throughout the year,” Patrick said.
Walnut Grove has had some generous offers to help. It’s a complete volunteer board of people who go out and help keep the place in tip-top shape. There’s no staff. It wants the vandalism to stop. Nothing good is coming from it.
“Know that this is not just something that you’re getting a quick rise out of. This is something that hurts our communities and our families,” Patrick said.
Walnut Grove is accepting donations to help make these latest fixes. It’s also looking to add to its panel of experts who help keep the park in great shape.