Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 13, 2015
Contact: Billie Schmidt, Superintendent of Operations
360.337.5371 or bschmidt@co.kitsap.wa.us
No: 2015-024

Community rallies to help repair vandalism at County Fairgrounds

(Bremerton, WA) - Kitsap County Parks Department fairgrounds maintenance staff was dismayed the morning of March 5 as they completed the routine activities of opening gates, removing garbage, and determining their tasks for the day. More than 42 spray-painted tags were discovered covering 15 buildings. After contacting the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and taking photos of the vandalism, staff immediately got to work both removing the offensive graffiti as well as putting out the e-mail SOS to volunteers for their assistance. Responses came in quickly. Local 4H volunteers and staff offered support in the form of painters and donated paint for the barns. John Miller of Boomtown Productions brought a truck with a water tank and three employees to pressure wash the affected areas. Lowes also provided a deep discount for the additional paint needed to cover the destruction.

Statistics show that removing graffiti within 24 hours discourages vandals from striking again in the near future. So the pressure was on maintenance staff to get this taken care of immediately. The Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center hosts over 130 major events each year, and the busy season started in mid-February. With many other tasks to complete to prepare for daily and upcoming events and sports use, staff was concerned they wouldn’t have time to remove graffiti immediately without falling behind on their regular schedule or the assistance of volunteers. Fairgrounds managers said the community effort took care of a good portion of the problem.

“Community volunteers are a vital part of the Parks Department’s day-to-day operations,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe. “Nearly 2,000 volunteers are contributing over 50,000 hours throughout our county parks and fairgrounds all year round. We truly appreciate all they do to assist our staff in keeping parks clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.”

The Parks Department experiences a high rate of vandalism. The public is asked to report any vandalism or other negative activity in the parks and community to the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Parks Director Jim Dunwiddie and his staff continue to develop a security plan for high-use parks to deter graffiti and other criminal activity. The costs of repairing equipment and facilities, purchasing materials, the time of parks staff and closure of sections of the parks while they are being repaired is very costly for citizens and the taxpayers of Kitsap County.

The mission of the Kitsap County Parks Department is to provide quality of life enhancing opportunities through the management of natural areas and specialized facilities, foster community stewardship, and offer an outstanding service-oriented environment. For more information about preventing vandalism or the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center, contact Billie Schmidt, Superintendent of Operations, at 360.337.5371 or bschmidt@co.kitsap.wa.us. For additional information about Kitsap County Parks Department, visit www.kitsapgov.com/parks.

Volunteers from 4-H stepped up in short order to help Kitsap County Parks maintenance staff remove graffiti at the Fairgrounds last week. Volunteers included Heidi Brandt, Andy Brandt, Tarra Strom, Bodie Strom and Max Strom. (Courtesy photo)

– ### – 

Kitsap1
360.337.5777

help@kitsap1.com

Last Updated:  March 13, 2015