Rolling Meadows parks hit with spate of vandalism
Nearly a dozen displays along a new StoryWalk connecting Rolling Meadows' Community Center Park to its library were discovered vandalized this week, the latest in a string of vandalism at city parks in recent months, officials said.
Discovered early Monday morning, the vandalism included the shattering of protective coverings, pages of the StoryWalk book cut out and garbage cans thrown into the creek along the path.
"We're beyond disappointed to see someone purposefully damage this new amenity we put here for the community to enjoy as they walked or biked the path," Rolling Meadows Park District Executive Director Kevin Romejko said. "What's especially frustrating is this isn't the first time in recent months our parks have been vandalized. We've incurred thousands of dollars in damage from people destroying our parks and facilities for no reason. It's heartbreaking."
Opened Aug. 1, the StoryWalk features pages of the children's book "Mini Rabbit is Not Lost" by John Bond displayed along a path for people to walk while reading the story. Repairs will cost $500, Romejko said.
In the past three months, the park district has incurred more than $6,000 in property damage, including:
• July 4: Lamp post cracked and knocked over in Kimball Hill Park and compressor turned off on the roof of West Meadows Ice Arena, causing the rink to melt and closing the facility for a day.
• Aug. 30: Sink and soap dispenser ripped out of the wall in the men's bathroom at Kimball Hill Park. Red substance tossed on the wall and floor in one of the stalls.
• Sept. 26: Lamp post cracked and knocked over a second time in Kimball Hill Park. Officials ask that anyone who sees someone vandalizing park district property inform the park district or police.
"We've had several conversations surrounding whether we should consider installing cameras throughout our parks, but with 156 acres of parkland, that's not a viable solution logistically or financially," Romejko said. "This is also an excellent opportunity for parents to remind their kids about the serious consequences of vandalism and encourage them to make positive choices to help their communities -- maybe volunteer for one of our events or participate in our annual Community Cleanup Day."