Police are investigating a reported act of vandalism that targeted signage at a parcel of open land operated by the Cheshire Land Trust.
On Oct. 5, the President of the Cheshire Land Trust, Joy Vanderlek received communication from one of the group’s volunteers, who had been traversing through the Fresh Meadows wildlife sanctuary off of Cook Hill Road. The volunteer reported that some of the signs on the property had recently been vandalized.
“They all but demolished the directional trail signs. These were brand new,” lamented Vanderlek. “They even damaged the benches on the trail, and they broke and lifted the signs and the posts out of the ground.”
According to Vanderlek, the damage to the trail signs and benches seems to have been targeted, and it could mean that the person, or persons, who perpetrated the act is someone who has an axe to grind.
“There was definitely a lot of rage behind this,” she said. “It seems like someone was upset and took their anger out on our signs and property.”
While the damage done to the signs and benches might seem like an easy fix, the work that originally went into them took a lot of time, and Vanderlek is discouraged at the thought that someone in the community might be responsible for this act.
“It’s really devastating physically and emotionally when something like this happens,” she said. “We are all volunteer-based and we put so much work into maintaining our trails. We just want whoever is responsible for this to come and help put it back together.”
Vanderlek did report the vandalism to the police, who suggested she install more trail cameras to catch vandals in the act.
“We are going to be putting up trail cams, but we really just hope whoever did this understands that this isn’t OK and can come forward and help us rebuild what was damaged,” she added.