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Vandals Ruin Neighborhood Park

Rebekah Rae

Vandals Ruin Neighborhood Park

CREATED May. 7, 2013

 Omaha, NE - Neighbors are fed up, week after week, vandals have targeted a south Omaha Park where parents take their kids to play.  For more than a year, Deer Hollow Park has been under renovation.  Every year the Deer Park Neighborhood Association works with the city and raises money on their own to keep the park family friendly.  Their latest addition, a porta potty; which no one will be using anytime soon.

Neighbors describe the vandalism as sickening.  Dennis Logue is tired of picking up after people.  He's come to Deer Hollow Park ever since it was built more than a decade ago; he says it used to be a lot safer.  "This neighborhood is known for people being stupid and doing dumb things and ruining it for the people who come here to have fun."
This year, Deer Hollow has an abnormal amount of vandalism, and it's making some areas of the park unsafe.  Steve Vokal is on the neighborhood association and he is trying to keep the park clean.  It's a big job that seems never ending.  Recently, Vokal noticed motor oil poured all over picnic tables.  The oil stained so bad, the park association is considering replacing the tables.  "This is the only park that serves the entire neighborhood, so it's important it stays pristine," says Vokal.
Dirty tables are not the only problem in the park.  "Some of the graffiti is so severe that you have to be certified to use some of the chemicals to take it off," complains Vokal.  He says the number one request he gets from parents, a portable restroom.  The association received a grant and raised personal donations to make that happen.  For one week, a porta potty sat in the park.  Then vandals spray painted the inside and outside walls so severely, the porta potty was taken away.  It makes some parents angry that a few people ruin it for everyone.  "I noticed it one day and all of a sudden it was gone, it really upsets me, kids have to the bathroom, where do they go when they got to go potty?" asks Logue.  Vokal says for the rest of the summer, the park will likely have no restroom.