Three of the park's solar-powered path lights were damaged in early March by individuals who apparently used rocks from the park's garden beds. Initial estimates place the cost of the destructive acts at $6,000 to $8,000.
Some time during the night of March 8 one or more persons attacked half of the park's solar-powered path lights. Vandals busted out the light lenses at the top of the posts and shattered the solar collection panels on the sides of the three lights closest to the shelter. “This vandalism took concentrated effort since the damage to each light was extensive and the lights are designed to be ‘vandal resistant,’” said Park Director Ken Steinken. According to manufacturer’s brochures this light design was tested and survived “full attack” with baseball bats.
Since the lights generate and store their own electricity and are not connected to Black Hills Energy power lines, they will not be cheap to replace. Steinken estimates the cost to replace and install the three high-tech lights at $6,000 to $8,000. The park’s $1,000 deductible insurance will help with replacement expenses. “We are looking into installing a 24-hour video security system in the park that would help deter this kind of behavior in the future and assist police in finding vandals,” said Steinken. “Overall the park experiences very little vandalism,” Steinken added. “We are grateful that God watches over the park and has kept it in good condition. And we are thankful for the many park users who respect and care for the park and encourage others to do the same.”
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