|11 May 2000|
Vandals Hit Botanic Gardens
Vandals have left a trail of damage in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens over two recent nights.
Damage is estimated at several thousand dollars and the Police have been informed.
On the night of 2 May vandals broke seats, pulled out plants, damaged an irrigation system, snapped and destroyed trees, some as old as 20 years.
On the night of 9 May four thermometers at the weather station were broken, plants removed and other smashed. More than 32 azaleas were removed from the Azalea Garden.
The Christchurch City Councils Botanic Gardens Horticultural Supervisor, Kevin Garnett, says the two nights of vandalism were the worse for some time. "We get vandals frequently throughout summer but not often at this time of the year. The toilets are damaged all the time. We now lock them at night, but all this costs more and more money," he says.
People can get into the Botanic Gardens without trouble at night but Mr Garnett says it is not Council policy to lock it up like a fortress at night.
He says staff morale was low because of the recent incidents.
On 2 May the childrens playground area was targeted and 35 plants were destroyed and a wooden seat broken. Swimming pool was matting was pulled up and bicycle racks were thrown into the river.
At the Armagh entrance carpark a car barrier was smashed.
The four thermometers destroyed on 9 May will have to be replaced at $250 each. More than 50 plants and shrubs were destroyed that night.
Further information: Kevin Garnett: 364 7583 or 025 203 5665.