Just weeks before a new gate could be erected in order to save the site from unwanted visitors, vandals caused about $2,000 in damage on Dakota Ridge.
Sometime between July 16 and Aug. 9, vandals removed concrete barriers blocking access to the area and drove up to where two buildings sit.
“They broke into both our buildings up there. They are like Quonset huts, so one is used to store equipment and one is used as a warming hut in the winter,” said Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) parks planning co-ordinator Sam Adams. “Basically, that’s damaging three doors and three locks, and they stole a bunch of first aid equipment out of one of those Quonset huts.”
But the vandals didn’t stop there.
“Then they drove their truck into the wall of our warming hut and did quite a bit of damage to that,” Adams said. “It’s a couple of thousand dollars worth of damage.”
Vandalism at the site has happened before in the summer months when volunteers and parks staff aren’t as frequent.
In an effort to deter the vandalism, staff had erected a gate on the access road to Dakota Ridge but the gate was damaged last summer.
“It got wrecked a year ago, I believe, and they were waiting to put this new one up which would be more solid than the one before,” said board chair Garry Nohr. “So we got hit about a month before it probably would have been sorted out.”
He said looking into other methods to deter vandals, like positioning video cameras in the area, will be a topic of discussion at the SCRD board when it resumes meeting in September.
“This is something that we should be looking at and be prepared for, but it really is upsetting for all those volunteers, in my books, that put in so many hours to try to make that an inviting place to come in the winter,” he said.