Vandals damage dugouts, equipment sheds at Nunaka Valley ball fields
Parents and coaches of the Nunaka Valley Little League are cleaning up a mess at the valley's ball fields, after people did thousands of dollars in damage.
"They've punched holes in the shed -- this is where we keep our main mower,” Kate Pearson said.
Pearson, the president of the non-profit league, and treasurer Kirsten McCart showed KTVA the vandalism Saturday morning.
“The shed was essentially destroyed,” McCart said as she removed the tarp covering a gaping hole in the roof. “They ripped the siding off over here, they ripped the roof off.”
The shed will be torn down and replaced with a shipping container.
“That's going to be about $1,000. We're a little league, we’re a non-profit. I don't know how it's going to happen,” McCart said.
The ball fields have been a staple in this neighborhood for almost 60 years. This summer there have been major problems keeping the gates open.
“Earlier this year when we started the season this dugout was full of feces and graffiti,” Richard Knowles explained. “We cleaned it all up and painted it. Since the season ended they've done this. More graffiti. They even took the benches out.”
This was Knowles' last season as the girls’ softball coach. In his 35 years on the sidelines he’s seen the difference the game can make for kids. Nearly 300 boys and girls were in the league this year.
Richard is worried about how the vandalism might impact future players.
“Repairing stuff like this, all that money comes out of the pot the kids pay for. The more vandalism we have the more it costs kids to play every year,” he said.
The damage not only affects players but the people supporting them too.
“It's all volunteers, there's no payment to anyone out here,” Knowles said. “And we have to get volunteers now to come down and fix this, put it all back together and then overnight they do it again.”
The little league wants neighbors in the area to be aware and report suspicious behavior. Members will also take a helping hand or financial donations, through the league's website, to clean up the park and make it a place where kids continue to play.