The City of Tampa is launching a new “Love Your Park” Campaign in response to an increased number of vandalisms in city parks. These incidents cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and take away resources from regularly scheduled maintenance projects in Tampa Parks and Recreation facilities.
Since March, right before Spring Break, the City of Tampa Facilities team has responded to more than a dozen incidents of recent vandalism in park facilities, including damaged restrooms, graffiti, and purposefully set fires.
“Every time our facilities team responds to vandalism at a city park or facility, it diverts time, money, and resources from other parks that need our help,” said Adriana Colina, Director of Logistics & Asset Management for the City of Tampa. “From mending fences damaged by weather, to giving a facility a fresh coat of paint, every dollar matters. We don’t want unnecessary vandalism to take away from that.”
“We want our community to have a sense of pride in our award-winning Parks & Recreation programs and facilities,” said Sherisha Hills, Director of Tampa Parks & Recreation. “When we have graffiti and other unnecessary damage, it makes it much harder for the city to provide the high level of customer service that our community expects and deserves.”
The “Love Your Park” campaign focuses on showing pride in our parks and deterring vandalism by activating community partners and encouraging neighbors to be our eyes and ears. Printed materials will be available inside various city facilities and recreation centers explaining the best ways to prevent and report vandalism. The City of Tampa’s Community Engagement & Partnerships Team will also help raise awareness about the issue with neighborhood associations across the city.
“While we do our best to patrol our parks facilities, we can’t always be there to prevent vandalism, and we rely on our community to be our eyes and ears,” said Major Eric DeFelice of the Tampa Police Department. "Vandalism is a crime. If you choose to vandalize a Tampa Parks & Recreation facility or commit any other act of vandalism, our detectives will find you, and you will be charged with the crime."
Tampa’s Parks & Recreation team remains committed to providing the highest level of service to the community and to Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow Initiative.
To report vandalism, or if you see vandalism happening in a city park or facility, please contact the Tampa Police Department’s non-emergency line at 813-231-6130. Or you can download the Tampa PD app from Google Play or the Apple Store to report the information anonymously.
We thank you for helping us “Love Your Park!”
Recent Vandalism to City of Tampa Parks & Rec Facilities
Ballast Point Park: The Tampa Police Department has confirmed via park surveillance cameras that at least two people went into the Ballast Point Park restroom facility and spray-painted graffiti across the walls. Additionally, they damaged the nearby fish-cleaning station near the pier and broke three of the water lines. The damage at Ballast Point Park is upward of $4,000.
The vandals left a social media handle spray-painted on the sidewalk near the damage. Tampa Police are currently investigating and searching for the suspects.
Highland Pines Park: Vandals set multiple fires inside the restroom facilities, burning toilet paper and paper towels. City of Tampa Facilities also responded to graffiti inside. The price to taxpayers to remove the graffiti and repair the damage was around $5,500 for this one act alone.
Skyview Park: Vandals set the soap dispenser and toilet paper dispenser on fire inside the restrooms.
Foster Park: Vandals set the restroom on fire in addition to breaking the mirrors, soap, and toilet paper dispensers.
Cuscaden Park: Vandals damaged the door to the restroom facility.
Joe Abrams Senior Center: Vandals spray-painted graffiti on the side of the building.
Copeland Park: Vandals spray-painted graffiti and tore down toilet paper dispensers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
City of Tampa Media Relations Manager
813-326-5487 (call or text)