EVANSTON — Over this past weekend, vandals defaced several signs, equipment and sidewalks on the Bear River Greenway.
“Individuals with spray paint damaged 15 different signs,” said Jay Dee Nielsen, director of the Evanston Parks and Recreation District. “They painted obscenities and designs along the river on the concrete and in the Bear Tails Fire Circle.”
The spray-paint graffiti was discovered early Monday morning by individuals who frequent the parkway. Investigators are unsure if the vandals acted Sunday evening or in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Most of the damage has since been covered over or scrubbed off by a crew from the recreation department. Some of the graffiti that the crew was unable to remove still remains on the informational signage at the Bear Ponds.
Nielsen said cleaning up the damage cost the city “at least a couple of thousand dollars in materials and labor.”
The Bear River Greenway is a favorite recreation location for many Evanston locals.
“It’s sad that people have no respect for public property,” commented Nielsen.
Because of budgeting issues, the parkway has limited surveillance — although this incident has the recreation department considering additional security for this usually crime-free city park. Even so, this isn’t a common incident in Evanston.
“Since I’ve been here nothing this bad has ever happened,” said Nielson of his three years as director of the EPRD.
Individuals with any information regarding this crime are asked to contact the Evanston Police Department at (307) 783-6400.