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Do-gooder 'vandals' chop invasive species in Waterfront Park

This English Laurel was one of the plants that were targeted at Waterfront Park over the weekend. - Mike Suraci photo
This English Laurel was one of the plants that were targeted at Waterfront Park over the weekend.
— image credit: Mike Suraci photo

Vandals cut down shrubs and removed plants in Waterfront Park over the weekend.

The city filed an incident report with the Bainbridge Police Department, but Lt. Sue Shultz said the act does not appear to warrant a criminal investigation.

"At this point it doesn't look criminal. It looks like someone was possibly trying to do a good deed," Shultz said.

According to interim Public Works director Lance Newkirk, the act appears to have targeted non-native plant species in the park.

"All the plants that were removed appear to be invasive species," he said. "Not that that condones the act, but it appears that it wasn't a pure act of vandalism. It may be a misguided attempt to remove invasive species without city sanctions."

Neighbor Mike Suraci noticed the plants on a walk through the park on Sunday. Photographs he took show the vegetation was deliberately sawed and removed from various parts of the park in targeted areas.

Plants targeted included English laurel, Himalayan blackberry and English holly, Newkirk confirmed.

"It looked like quite a few areas of the park were hit, especially in three distinct areas," Newkirk said. "Although they are invasive plants, it is not something that the city would condone."

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