Vandals damage playing field - kids' teams forced to reschedule matches

Sunday, June 13, 2010

 Shoreline Field A is closest to the camera; Field B is adjacent, beyond the light standard
By Diane Hettrick

In the middle of the day on Friday, May 21, vandals dug out a two foot by four foot section of the artificial turf on the popular playing fields behind the Shoreline Pool.

In the exposed dirt on Field B - the one closest to the Shoreline Center, they planted a plant, with a note that said
"Plastic grass and rubber soil, this culture is insane. Do what your heart knows is best. Stop the insanity, return to humanity. What are you waiting for?"

This is the height of the soccer season for the youth sports organizations in our community. Teams from Hillwood, which serves the west of Shoreline, and Shorelake, which serves east Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore, use the field extensively.

According to a board member for the Shorelake Soccer Club, 'The Shoreline A and B fields are two of the most used turf fields in Shoreline and Shoreline B won't be available until it is repaired, affecting a busy season ... they have damaged public property that provides kids an opportunity to exercise, stay off the streets, and learn to work in a team."

The soccer groups have been forced to delay, cancel, and reschedule matches for both recreational and select soccer.

The Parks department is getting estimates to repair the field and believes it will cost about two thousand dollars. They think that it can be repaired so that young players will not trip on unexpected edges in the center of the field.

The police have no leads. The field is in plain sight, but the walking trail in Shoreline Park is not heavily used. The pool parking lot and the north lot for the Shoreline Center are just out of sight, and there are few houses that border the field.

Shoreline Fields A and B before renovation. In the rain, the fields turned into mud pits.
The Shoreline fields, along with Twin Ponds, were extensively redone in 2007. The soil was removed, pipes installed for good drainage, then the soil was replaced and compacted for an even surface. The top was covered with a new, artificial turf. The result is dry fields with good playing surfaces. The fields have been booked solid since the renovations.

If you have any information about this event, please contact the police department. You can reference Case #10-117883. Call 911 any time that you see something out of the ordinary on the playing fields. Shoreline and Lake Forest Park have community police departments; they will take your call seriously and use the information.


Anonymous,  June 14, 2010 at 2:50 PM  

Just wait until someone does a lawn job with a vehicle on the new Hamlin Park turf, there is easy access to the field from the wheel chair ramp. The parks staff is aware of this and have done nothing. There is access to the Upper Hamlin ball fields as well because the parks staff no longer use a stanchion to prevent vehicle access. There is also problems with vehicle access where there are stanchions, parks staff already bump over the curb cut since you only need to ride over on one side, but they haven't addressed the issue yet.

Somebody has already drove up to the restrooms to relieve themselves, someone who couldn't be bothered to park and walk up, using the wheelchair ramp and asphalt walkway, and had a one-way drive to the west parking lot, no need to backup and turn around.

Shoreline taxpayers have paid millions to rehabilitate these fields and Little League pays thousands of dollars annually in user fees, it would be tragic to see them vandalized. Vandals have already damaged the sculpture that was installed more than once. How long do we have to wait before more damage is done?

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