National Trail Parks and Recreation District is repairing a popular statue in a Springfield park after it was vandalized.
The Cinderella figure in Veteran’s Park was found with its eyes burned out and BB gun marks about a month a half ago by park staff members, said Leann Castillo, director of National Trail Parks and Recreation District.
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“Just like every day we have graffiti everywhere and it’s just one of those things we’re getting taken care of,” Castillo said.
Cinderella has been removed from the park in order to make the repairs.
This incident is the second time in the past two years the figure has been damaged. The life-size, Plexiglas cutout of the princess was stolen in February 2015. The thieves unbolted and removed a large, metal holder that attached the statue to a wooden pole.
“No one’s touched it since because the public outcry was crazy,” Castillo said.
Cinderella was added to Veteran’s Park in October 2014, to complement the pumpkin carriage that has been in the park since the 1960s, according to history from the parks district.
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A grant from the Wilson-Sheehan Foundation paid for the Cinderella statue and for a carousel horse that was also added to the pumpkin carriage, Castillo said. The grant also paid for Project Jericho and youth from the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center to restore and repaint the carriage.
Springfield native Liz Widmore visited the park this week with her daughter. She’s not surprised that the figure was damaged.
“Things like that happen in this neighborhood and parks around us pretty often,” Widmore said.
But she’s sad and disappointed about the news. She believes the vandalism is more of a systematic issue.
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“I would imagine it to be teenagers and youths who don’t have a lot going on or probably bored, not a ton of activities for them,” Widmore said.
The Springfield native said the city is a good place to live with a lot happening in it. She doesn’t believe the vandalism should be associated with her hometown’s character and believes more opportunities would get rid of the problem.
“I would like to see more activities for our youth, for teenagers in this area for sure,” Widmore said.
There have been suggestions to add security cameras in the park but Castillo said it’s not feasible or economically viable to put up cameras everywhere that could face vandalism. Staff members also wouldn’t have the time to monitor all that video, she said.
Widmore doesn’t think the addition of cameras would help.
“There are cameras all in department stores and things of that nature, they may curve some of the crime but it still happens,” Widmore said.
Cinderella likely will return to the park soon but a date hasn’t been set.