Lights broken, tiles smashed and graffiti sprayed.
The damage doesn’t occur all in one night. Instead, vandals have been targeting Navarre Park over the past four months.
Either way, it needs to stop, said Lt. Patrick Vega, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office District 2 supervisor, which encompasses Navarre.
“We’ve had vandalism since the park opened,” said Tracey Williams, CEO/President of the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. The park falls under the chamber’s responsibility for maintenance and upkeep and is paid for by the chamber’s Nature Walk Fund as well as county funds.
“But there’s been an increase recently,” she said.
Most recently, Williams said, rocks have been thrown at the children’s hand tiles surrounding one of the jungle-gyms. Graffiti was sprayed on the power boxes and the shower head near the Splash Pad was broken.
In all, about $1,000 of damage has been caused over the past four months.
“Someone also dropped one of the big rocks off the (Navarre Beach Bridge) and smashed a few boards on the boardwalk,” Vega said.
Santa Rosa County Ordinance 05-11 prohibits animals in the park, as well as alcohol, camping and soliciting. Those rules, along with park hours – 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. – are posted at the park’s entrance.
Located at the foot of the Navarre Beach Bridge, the Navarre Park boasts five acres of playground, beach access, picnic tables, walking paths and the Butterfly House.
“It’s a nice area and we’re hoping to keep it that way,” Vega said.
Anyone with information about the ongoing vandalism is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 981-2250.