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Vandals knock down and rip out 150 new cedar-tree seedlings in Mission’s Heritage Park

Around 2,000 seedlings had just been planted; park caretaker says damage is ‘very disheartening’
LEFT: The wooden stakes, used to support the cedar seedlings as they grown, can be seen discarded here. RIGHT: A row of knocked down stakes along a trail. Photos courtesy of Sandie Zdunich.

Vandals have knocked down and ripped out approximately 150 new cedar-tree seedlings at Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park.

Seeing the pointless damage was “very disheartening,” said Sandie Zdunich, the park’s caretaker and gardener for 14 years. She was informed of the vandalism by a park visitor on Friday evening, Oct. 29.

Many of the seedlings were torn from where they were planted, roots and all, Zdunich said.

“It’s not just the stake that they had wrapped around them,” she said. “I tried to fix as many as I could.

The city had finished planting around 2,000 of the seedlings just last Wednesday, Oct. 27, as part of a government grant to reduce Mission’s carbon footprint, Zdunich believes.

She said it took two people a week to plant them all.

Zdunich immediately called the city, and staff will be coming to help fix the damage on Monday.

She and a friend have been trying to replant as many as they can by hammering the wooden stakes back in place, but they’ve run out of stakes.

“I need a sledgehammer to get them in even better,” she said. “All we need to do is put it back and fix it.”

She said the public’s eyes are the best defence against this kind of damage, as the park is extremely busy.

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