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Chestnut Hills park in Ravenna vandalized again

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published: April 5, 2013 4:00 AM
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Ravenna Councilwoman Amy Michael was outraged to find Chestnut Hills Park in the city vandalized last weekend.

But within minutes of posting photos of the damage on her Facebook page, Tiffany Welling, one of the artists who painted the designs at the park, was offering to fix the damage.

The painting party, which will be done as soon as weather warms up, is the second one organized at the playground within the past 12 months. The park also was vandalized in 2008, shortly after it opened.

"We're not going to let this stay up in our community," Michael said. "Too much pride is behind it."

Michael encouraged parents to look for "red flags" in the behavior of their children and encouraged them to find out where their children are going, especially if they have the initials "JT or LT," the initials painted on the playground equipment, or if they live close to the area.

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"We've heard that some of the older kids are using that park as a hang out, and are smoking and using profanity," she said. "That is not what that park was meant for. We won't let it be ruined by kids who learned no respect."

The park was built as a community effort by Friends of the Park, led by Michael, Betsy Kovacic and Pam Crislip.

Crislip said the community and parents in Ravenna should be ashamed.

"I didn't think vandalism would happen there because the community was so proud of what was accomplished," she said. "Respect is not a very well-taught word ... would these kids like it if their Facebook wall was hacked, or something was written on their car or cell phone or room?"

Kovacic said she's not sure what the answer is, but is frustrated by the repeated vandalism. She expressed hope that the city, which now owns the park, will increase security.

"I just remember the time and effort it took to see this happen, and it's frustrating," she said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

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anonymous Apr 7, 2013 3:55 PM

Well way back when they first announced that they were going to build the play area, I told them that was a bad place for it. It was lit on fire once and now vandalized. There is a juvenile delinquency home a short distance from this play area and it is away from the business area that gets most of the police patrols. The only time a police car is in that area they are trying to get someone for going a little over the speed limit. There is no money to be made in catching vandals.

sebringtwo Apr 6, 2013 7:05 AM


ravennaresident Apr 5, 2013 7:59 AM

This disturbs me very much. My granddaughters loved going there when it first opened - then the older kids started coming - would take my granddaughters to the section with the ship - found two teenagers - girl and boy - laying down on the floor! Then another time - the older kids were chasing the little ones! Can't something be done about keeping the older ones out! I won't take them there anymore - it's sad - they keep asking why!

Ian_Maserb Apr 5, 2013 6:19 AM

It seems that park attracts a lot of vandals. City council should ban parks in Ravenna.