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Jaffrey playground partially reopened after vandalism last month

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation has partially reopened the Humiston Park playground, which was closed after vandals removed nuts, bolts, and playground equipment. Courtesy photo

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation has closed the Humiston Park playground until further notice after vandals removed nuts, bolts, and playground equipment sometime Sunday night. Courtesy photo

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation has closed the Humiston Park playground until further notice after vandals removed nuts, bolts, and playground equipment sometime Sunday night. Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:41AM

The playground at Humiston Park in Jaffrey has reopened to the public following vandalism last month, although not all features are operational.

Recreation Director Renee Sangermano said Wednesday that it will take a few more weeks for replacement parts to be delivered, but recreation staff has tightened all the nuts and bolts on the existing equipment, allowing most of the playground to be used. 

Replacement equipment – including nuts, bolts, mounting hardware, and hanging monkey rings – cost about $550 not including labor costs, Sangermano said. 

“This is by far the most costly vandalism issue we’ve had in the three years I’ve worked here,” Sangermano said. “We have to pay for it with the recreation department budget, which means something else won’t be able to be done this year.”

The playground was closed on July 2 after staff noticed that nuts and bolts on the playground equipment had been loosened or removed. Sangermano said the playground was reopened last week.

More than 30 community members helped to build the new playground on May 5 and 6. The playground first opened to the public on May 22.

The two pieces of equipment that are not currently operational are the expression swing – a combination swing that has a seat for a parent and young child – and the monkey rings.

The monkey rings were one of the items that were stolen and the mounting hardware for the expression swing was damaged. 

Sangermano said the department is currently working on ways to deter vandalism from happening again. Security cameras are one idea being discussed. 

“Ultimately, if someone wants to do damage they will,” Sangermano said. “We just have to trust that people are good to their core.”

Sangermano is still working to raise $40,000 for the second phase of the playground, which will include six belt swings and two climbing structures – one specifically for the five and under crowd.

About $2,000 has been raised so far. Sangermano said she is also looking into grants.