Park dept. asks for public’s help to stop vandalism

The Kansas City, Mo., Parks and Recreation Department is asking for the public’s help to stop vandalism in the city’s parks after a recent uptick of graffiti, illegal dumping, littering and damage caused by driving in grassy areas.

Recently at Indian Mound Park a pickup driving on the property has caused thousands of dollars of damage. Parks shared a video Monday, Dec. 7, a bystander took of a vehicle doing “donuts” on the Indian Mound. The KCPD case report number is 20-083673 for the Incident at Indian Mound Park last week.

KC Parks Director, Terry Rynard said this is an ongoing problem.

“Our open spaces are invaluable, especially during this pandemic,” Rynard said. “This senseless crime impacts the entire community.”

Like other Indian Mounds in North America, Northeast’s Indian Mound is a site where archeologists were able to recover artifacts from Native Americans. The mound was placed on top of the archeological site after excavation to prevent these artifacts from being stolen when workers were away.

This incident at Indian Mound Park is not the first in this area. Just a few weeks ago another vehicle knocked over a picnic table and destroyed a barbeque grill.

Northeast residents are no strangers to these acts, and have been documenting them for years.

KC Park Ranger Superintendent Jeff Hurley said a possible solution to prevent future vandalism is to “increase the knowledge and use of the parks in neighborhoods.”

“Usually when there’s people using the park in positive ways, people who want to use it in negative ways will back off or be deterred from using it,” Hurley said.

Kessler Park, Cliff Drive and Budd Park, where a gratitude wall was installed in October, have also fallen victim to vandalism recently. Hurley wants to remind the people of Kansas City that all vehicles are restricted to designated parking spots only. 

Those driving any vehicle off of marked roads are breaking city ordinances and can face legal repercussions. Witnesses can call 311 to report vandalism at local parks or call the Park Ranger Department directly at 816-799-7521. If it is safe to take a video of those responsible for off-roading or other vandalism, witnesses can submit it to the Kansas City Police Department.

Throughout the pandemic, KC Parks is experiencing a huge increase in activity in our parks, causing greater volumes of litter. The department continues to ask everyone to clean up after themselves and help pick up trash when they can.

KC Parks has more than 221 Parks and miles of trails. The department is encouraging residents to “make a difference while you distance,” and pick up litter.

Paige Eichkorn contributed to this article.

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