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Brief History of Vandalism in Parks

Brief History of Vandalism in Parks

The history of vandalism is a long and tragic one. The term “vandalism” was first coined by the Abbe Henri Gregoire, the Bishop of Blois in 1794. The Bishop coined the term for the purpose of denouncing and quenching the widespread riots which had enveloped all of France in the early months of the French Revolution. The Bishop was inspired to use the term “vandalism” as he remembered the violent reputation of the Vandals. The Vandals were a Germanic tribe who played a huge role in the fall of the Roman Empire. The people had become so out of control that they were beginning to act like the Vandals, destroying the very country they were trying to liberate from an oppressive French monarchy. The Bishop wanted to re-establish the pure and good principles of the revolution that had been lost in the hateful confusion of the rioting. So, the Bishop labeled the destructive behavior of the rioters as “vandalism.” The effort to paint the rioters’ behavior in a negative light succeeded. The term “vandalism” caught like wildfire and spread across Europe within weeks. The term originally referred to systematic revolutionary violence, but soon began to predominantly refer to the general desecration of art and architecture. All this to say, vandalism is no peripheral matter, regardless of where it takes place.

Unfortunately, the old practice of vandalism is still alive and well in our communities, especially public parks. The irresponsible and vengeful vandalism of public parks inflicts crippling blows to nearby residents. The presence of vandalism mars a community’s image and decreases real estate values. Many parks and recreation departments need to spend 30% of their maintenance budget to repair damages caused by vandalism, leaving no room for improving facilities. Communities need to put an end to vandalism.

The best way to stop vandalism from continuing to destroy communities is by installing state-of-the-art Vandalism Deterrent Cameras, which are specially designed to stop vandalism in parks, providing communities security in knowing their parks are protected and warding off vandals.

Vandalism During the Pandemic

Vandalism During the Pandemic

Social distancing is the new norm for our society during this pandemic. Most people have been staying safe inside their homes. Unfortunately, there are some who are taking advantage of this momentous opportunity to do harm to their local communities.

While cities remain closed, they now face the concerns and troubles that come from vandalism including “spray-painted bleachers, missing signage, damaged athletic fields, torn-up synthetic playground surfacing and deliberately dismantled playground equipment.”

Vandalism is costly and dangerous to communities. Destructive activity tends to increase when people are vacant, such as holidays or weekends. Sadly, rascals are taking advantage of the pandemic and creating a heyday, intending to vandalize and terrorize cities. Local parks receive the worst of the damage.

What should a community do?

Here are some measures that cities should take to protect their cities from vandalism during this pandemic:

  • Communities should offer after school virtual programs for youth, especially inviting to those with destructive tendencies.
  • Cities should increase their budget for educating the community on how much vandalism costs them.
  • Security measures should be implemented, such as crime deterrent cameras that prevent vandalism.

Vandalism is damaging to communities, but it can be fought by investing a little effort into crime prevention tools and systems, such as the examples above.

Don’t Compromise your Parks to Vandalism

Don’t Compromise your Parks to Vandalism

Imagine your favorite childhood playground. What comes to mind when you picture it? More than likely, you reminisce over fond childhood memories, gliding down a shiny, bright-red slide and flying high on the chain-link swing then jumping off to see how far you’ll land. If you lived in a city that cared about parks, you probably don’t think of vandalism or graffiti in the form of broken-down park benches and swear words scratched into the play equipment. However because parks are often targeted, cities pay large amounts of money to fix damages done to parks to ensure the beauty of recreation sites.

In Louisville, KY, a 2015 report showed that since 2010, there have been nearly $400,000 worth of damages done to city parks (https://wfpl.org/breaking-cost-vandalism-louisvilles-parks/). Among the damages are graffiti and theft. A common occurrence that Louisville parks face is stolen trash cans. Thieves can make around $3 for reselling a metal trash can, whereas it costs parks $10 to replace. This seemingly small number adds up to a sum that could be used towards city events or updating community gathering areas.

Unfortunately, vandalism and destruction are fates that public places regularly face, but there are ways to minimize the damage and costs that parks encounter on an annual basis:

  • Purchase unbreakable equipment that is difficult to steal (i.e. trash cans that are fused to the cement)
  • Install gates with locks 
  • Install bright lights
  • Install anti-vandalism cameras

Accepting the ruin of a community recreational site is not an option. And cities should not forfeit large bulks of money to protect the beauty of their parks. Anti-Vandalism Cameras are a great resource to protect and deter vandalism and graffiti.

#Nograffiti #Novandalism #ProtectParks #WeAreParksAndRec #StopVandalism

Parks are Essential to our Health

Parks are Essential to our Health

During this challenging pandemic, health is more important than ever. When the immune system is down, it becomes difficult to fight off viruses and infections. When your body is not as prime as it could be, mental health also suffers. Mental and physical health are directly related: mental health impacts physical health and vice versa.

Nature is imperative to our health. For example, we need vitamin D for both our physical and emotional health. Historically, the public park was created with mental health in mind. Parks encourage physical activity and people who live close to parks are more prone to use them for exercise. Without scenic recreational areas, people are more likely to suffer from obesity and depression. Beauty is necessary for the public health. 

We take nature and aesthetics for granted. We take advantage of pristine parks and do not think about the care and effort that is put into keeping it desirable to communities. We do not think about the communities that cannot afford to do what it takes to keep parks free of litter and vandalism. It takes work to keep parks aesthetically appealing and free from graffiti and vandalism. For example, security guards and  anti-vandalism cameras may be a necessary asset to your park for the safety and health of your city. Also, signs reminding the public that the park is meant for everyone. Harming parks harms the entire community. 

We need to keep our parks clean and safe for our health and restore our communities to their original glory.

#Parks4All, #ParksAndRecreation, #WeAreParkAndRec, #NoVandalism #ProtectParks