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Vandals strike at Putney, Saratoga Woods
Vandals damaged a portable toilet and an information kiosk at two nature preserves in the South End during the weekend.
“It’s frustrating to do volunteer work, then somebody destroys it for something they consider fun,” said David Rose of Goss Lake, who discovered the damage on Sunday.
Both incidents occurred in forest land acquired by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust and maintained by Island County.
Rose said he was driving on Lone Lake Road Sunday morning on his way to take his dogs for a walk when he saw the portable toilet laying on its side in the road at the entrance to Putney Woods, a popular nature area with trails for walking, hiking and horseback riding.
He said he could see tire tracks leading to where the toilet was located in the parking lot.
“It looked like they backed up to it, tied a rope around it and for some reason dragged it into the road and left it there,” Rose said.
Later, when he got to Saratoga Woods along Saratoga Road toward Langley, he discovered the kiosk next to the parking lot had apparently suffered the same fate.
“They just yanked it over and left it,” Rose said.
He said the kiosk was in place on Saturday morning when he mowed the grass near the parking area. Rose is among a group of volunteers who helps maintain the area since the county cut back on park services.
He said the kiosk was heavily damaged, and probably would need to be reassembled. It wasn’t the first time someone vandalized it, he said — the plexiglass door had been broken in an earlier incident, and the county had been getting ready to repair it.
Rose said that if those responsible for the damage are ever apprehended, they should be required to fix the kiosk and pay for it as a life lesson.
Meanwhile, according to e-mails sent to the Record, an anonymous community member is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
Rose urged others in the community to watch for suspicious activity at the parks.
“Keep your eyes and ears open,” Rose said. “These things cost tax dollars to fix.”
Detective Ed Wallace of the Island County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that official logs indicate that neither vandalism had been reported to authorities during the weekend.
“Several people could have driven by and said ‘Isn’t that terrible,’ but nobody called in,” he said. He urged anyone with information to call 360-678-7968.