“My heart is heavy,” Bailey Park official says after recent vandalism

BURNEY, Calif. — Intermountain area residents this morning are fuming over a recent spat of vandalism that has once again struck Bailey Park in the small mountain community of Burney.

Maintained by Tri County Community Network, but run strictly on volunteers and donations, Bailey Park is considered a favorite among the few parks available to area youth, and is located off Bailey Ave., directly adjacent to Raymond Berry Intermountain Pool.

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Saying that Bailey Park was “drastically vandalized sometime over the last few days,” in a social media post after learning of and surveying the recent vandalism and damage caused to several of the park’s features and play areas, Tri County Community Network Executive Director Ashley Nelson pleaded with area residents for help and guidance how to fix the damage and stop future acts of vandalism.

“My heart is heavy,” Nelson said of what many have called the “senseless and selfish” acts.

“This community and Intermountain families mean the world to us and they deserve a clean local park,” Nelson continued; adding, “We are trying to call on the community for help with drive-by ‘patrolling’ when possible, in an attempt to lessen any opportunities for vandalism.”

Several of Bailey Park’s features and play areas were recently vandalized and damaged, leading many area residents to decry what they call “senseless and selfish” acts. Ashley Nelson photos

Tired of what they see as a recent spike of vandalism throughout the small town of just 3,200 citizens, many area residents are hoping those vandalizing the small, but popular park can soon be identified and held accountable.

After learning of the recent vandalism, many Burney and Intermountain area residents chimed in with their thoughts and opinions about the issue including Burney resident Michelle Harper, who told SCNS, “It is so sad that people can’t leave, at least, the children’s park alone!”

“How sad that someone feels like this is a fun thing to do,” Harper said of this vandalism as well as other prior similar acts. “Imagine if they redirected their energy into something more productive?”

Another Burney resident, Roxanne Francis-Martin responded to the post, writing, “I will never understand what could ever possess someone to do something as this?”

“Are people that damaged that they take pleasure in doing this?”, Francis-Martin continued. “What satisfaction could they possibly feel?? It is beyond me….”

SEE RELATED: “My son is crushed. Again!” Says one mom after second wave of vandalism at Burney’s Bailey Park

Sadly and frustratingly, this was not the first time Bailey Park has fallen prey to vandalism and damage.

Over a several month period last year, several of the park’s climb-on playground sets had been spray-painted, etched, or otherwise broken and damaged, and both of the toddler’s safety swing-seats were destroyed beyond repair and had to be replaced.

The damage and vandalism, similar to the most recent senseless acts, shocked and angered area residents.

Saying at the time, “I’m seriously so sick of this,” Burney resident Haley Reed lamented, “My son is crushed. Again!”

Haley, who last year said she enjoys taking her young son to the park, said, “I really hope there’s a good explanation and that it’s not some jerk purposely ruining the (park)!”

“It’s all just too much,” Burney resident Sandra Mulrooney told SCNS after last year’s vandalism. “We live in too small and too nice a town for this type of nonsense.”

Tri County Community Network Executive Director Ashley Nelson will be spearheading efforts to clean up and repair the park’s vandalized and damaged features and play areas tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m. All help is both welcome and encouraged. Ashley Nelson photos

Saying “I don’t have the answers, but wish I did,” Burney resident Tonya Lindler this morning told SCNS, “Having a clean and sanitary park is important for our childrens’ development, both physically and emotionally.”

“It’s also a great place for parents to have their kids be able to socialize with others,” Lindler continued. 

Citing other criminal and suspicious activity in and around the park, such as a porta potty situated just outside the park that was recently tipped over and damaged, Lindler offered several suggestions.

“It’s pitch black at night and they need to put up lights and cameras to curb this activity,” Lindler suggested; saying she lives across from the park and it’s a “major concern” for her.

“They should also install regular restrooms that are locked at dusk, and install cameras in the park’s area,” Lindler continued. “All of that takes funds though, so it will be tough.”

Nelson said she and her husband will be at the park on Sunday around 1 p.m. to try and remove some of the graffiti and repair other damage caused to several of the park’s features and play areas.

Within hours of her social media post, Nelson had received numerous offers of help in their effort from area residents.

Anyone willing to help with cleaning up the park and repairing its damaged play areas and features is encouraged to join Nelson and others. More information about the clean-up effort can be found by following the attached social media post below.

To learn more about Tri County Community Network visit them online or on Facebook. To donate financially to their various programs, including Bailey Park’s upkeep and maintenance, follow this link.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.

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