Vandals Destroying Trees Plague City's Parks

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Vandalism in a South Dakota community is costing the city's parks and recreation department thousands of dollars, officials said. 

Rapid City Parks and Rec supervisor Jason Preble told KEVN-TV that the vandalism is getting worse, and it’s causing staff to work overtime.

Officials said vandals have put graffiti on walls, broken doors and damaged trees — some of which can be repaired and some that have to be replaced altogether.

KEVN-TV reported that earlier this year, damaged trees in Roosevelt Park were set on fire. Those trees survived the vandalism.

"It just seems like it has been exceptional this year, The vandalism has been going on all year long," Preble said. "When the weather started getting better, the vandalism started getting worse. It includes everything from tree damage to doors getting kicked in, a lot of spray paint every day. You name it, it is happening out there. When the problems arise, if they are serious enough then overtime might be necessary."

More than 14 trees across Rapid City have been completely destroyed.

Preble says that the community needs more education on how trees impact the environment.

"Every tree has a purpose; they are all exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen," Preble says. "They are all blocking sun rays so, every time you take one out, you affect the global system."

The Rapid City police has received some tips  related to the vandalism, but the department has not released any additional information, KEVN-TV reported. 

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