Vandals damage trees, rock wall in Louisville park - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Vandals damage trees, rock wall in Louisville park

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Because the wall was hand-laid park officials have to bring the artisans back to repair the damage. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Because the wall was hand-laid park officials have to bring the artisans back to repair the damage. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Oak trees were damaged in the park. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Oak trees were damaged in the park. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Scott Martin (Source: WAVE 3 News) Scott Martin (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Tina Westphal (Source: WAVE 3 News) Tina Westphal (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Not in our park: That's the word from leaders at The Parklands of Floyd's Fork after vandals destroyed new trees and a hand laid rock wall inside the east Louisville gem over the weekend. Monday, park leaders said they want the people responsible for the vandalism arrested.

"We can't let stuff like this stand," said Parklands Parks Director Scott Martin.

Currently about 35 percent of the project is complete, but when the 19 mile, 4,000 acre dream of the Parklands of Floyds Fork started to become a reality, a four word motto immediately followed: Safe-Clean-Fun-Beautiful. With safety at the top, as soon as a staffer discovered the vandalism Sunday morning, park leaders and park goers were not having it.

"Our Facebook page blew up," Martin explained of the outrage, "Folks that are out here all the time, they take it as an insult which we like because they then become part of our team."

Dry laid stack walls at Pope Lick Park on the Louisville loop were put together by artisans, just like the ones lining Kentucky horse farms.

Martin looked at the damage, "One person with a sledge hammer took off the top of the rock, he explained, "Unfortunately that's what happened."

Some young oak trees were also destroyed, but they will be much easier to replace.

"These walls are individually built rock by rock, piece by piece and they are cut on site," Martin said.

"It's sad, very sad," said park goer Tina Westphal as she came up on the wall.

Westphal said she is fed up with crime. "I'm a victim of vandalism here too," she said. "Two weeks ago my car got broken into and they stole my girlfriend's purse and it's just a shame that you get done with a nice walk and you're excited, and you get back and your windows are smashed in and personal stuff is stolen."

Because The Parklands is funded through donations, some of the budget that might have been used for education programs will be redirected to security. Martin explained, "We have rangers and we're going to continue to be visible and we're going to drop the hammer."

"We're going to fight you on it," Westphal said of those responsible. "This is our park and there's not many places you can go walking here in Taylorsville, so when we have a park like this, it's our park and we want it back!"

The rule at The Parklands is vandalism is cleaned up in 24 hours, but because the wall is hand-laid they have to bring the artisans back to craft it.

Police are looking for leads. Anyone with information is asked to call either the anonymous tip line at (502) 574-LMPD or to talk to a park ranger by calling (502) 584-0350.

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