Tree Vandalism

Did you know? . . .  The cost to the Town to replace a damaged tree is about $500 - and vandals went on a downtown tree spree in February.

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Several downtown trees were damaged by vandals this past February, including five along 50th Street between 48th Avenue and 49th Avenue


Tree vandals undermine efforts of Town staff and others

Early this year, vandals struck a blow to efforts by the Town of Athabasca Outside Services department to help beautify the town. On several occasions, vandals thoughtlessly damaged young trees in the downtown district, causing unexpected additional expenses for town taxpayers.

“This tree vandalism profoundly affects our Outside Services staff,” notes Councillor Paula Evans. “Those trees are put in by Outside Services staff and they are the ones who take pride in caring for them.” She considers vandalism of any sort to be disrespectful to the entire community.

The severity of tree vandalism should not be taken lightly. Vandals and town residents alike may not realize the expense of time and money that goes into providing the trees and looking after them. The cost to replace a damaged tree is approximately $500, notes Outside Services Superintendent Rob Balay.

Some of the trees damaged this year were repaired with the hope that they will recover – time will tell. Others had to be replaced.

“The date that the most significant damage was done was on February 8,” Rob advises. “There were five trees damaged on 50th Street between 48th and 49th Avenue.”

The purpose of trees planted around town is to enhance the appearance of the community and help make the town a friendlier, more inviting place to live and spend time. Damaged trees can have the opposite effect, giving the mistaken impression that the community is uncaring and unconcerned. It is an example of how easily a few bad apples can spoil it for the rest of the community.

Paula notes that not only is Outside Services staff affected by senseless damage to trees and other Town property, but the work of groups like Athabasca Communities in Bloom is also undermined. Fortunately, many residents do take great pride in the community and Paula encourages everybody to watch out for malicious acts of vandalism and not let anything they see go unreported.

“I hope that everybody keeps an eye out and reports what they see,” she says.

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