Totem Mall looking to rally support after kids playground damaged

The vandalized playground equipment at Pickell Park. Photo by City of Fort St. John.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Many will remember when the Totem Mall had 9 trees cut down in a act of vandalism.

Pickell Park playground has now suffered a similar fate with the playground having to be removed because it is no longer structurally safe after being vandalized sometime during the last week of September.

Chris Murphy, the City of Fort St. John’s Grounds Manager, stated it is very “disappointing” and that they simply don’t have money in the budget to replace expensive equipment.

Rob Schlitt, administrator of Totem Mall says that it is very upsetting to see the same thing happen again in the community.

“It is horrible. It brings it all back. We were victims, now there are other victims. It is obviously different people (vandalism wise). Why are people doing this? This is even worse then what happened at the mall, because this is community, a playground for kids.”

Schlitt says that he can’t imagine how much the damage will cost to repair the playground. He said the Totem Mall trees cost $11,000 to replace.

“People don’t realize just how expensive this is”.

He says that the $11,000 didn’t cover other things such as employee time and labour. It strictly covered the cost of the trees.

Two people are already offering $40 to help the cause and hopefully catch someone who did the damage to the playground.

In a post on the Totem Mall Facebook page, they say that the vandals hopefully can be caught the same way the mall vandals were caught.

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