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Vandals rip down sign at Gold Hill Park

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
GOLD HILL ó Vandals ripped down a sign at Gold Hill Mines Historic Park that was erected as a tribute to Gold Hill youths who died.
The vandals tore the sign from its wooden posts and left the pieces in the grass.
It’s an act of vandalism that is upsetting to the people who erected the sign.
“Park officials were livid that someone would have so much disrespect,” said Vivian Hopkins, vice president and director of education at the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation.
Neighborhood children discovered the damage Sunday morning on an outing at the park.
Foundation members found other pieces later as they searched the playground area.
The park has a playground area with picnic tables and open fields. The playground is next to the park amphitheater, which has been in place more than 15 years. The park is privately owned, but is open to the public.
Hopkins said the park brings a lot of joy to children in the area and offers parents a chance to relax.
The 70-acre park and playground are owned by the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation.
The sign was the only thing that the vandals targeted. All of the other playground equipment went untouched.
The sign was bolted between two large wooden posts. It appears someone bent the 8-inch bolts until the sign came off.
What disturbs foundation members and directors is the sign was erected by a committee “whose sole purpose was to raise money to install the playground when the park was being developed over 15 years ago,” Hopkins said.
She said park officials feel as though law enforcement officials are not actively policing the park area, which has been vandalized in the past.
Hopkins said she understands officers don’t have to police the parks, but she wishes they could at least drive by on a regular basis.
Foundation officials are handling the matter internally, Hopkins said.
They are already in the process of replacing the sign, which is likely to cost several hundred dollars.
“We can’t stop vandalism. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. We can deter it by being more watchful of areas like that,” Hopkins said.
Like many other parks, the Gold Hill park is closed after dark.
Foundation board member Gary Russell said it took a mighty big kid to break up the sign and pull it from the bolts.
“No small child could have done this much damage. It’s sad to know that older kids have nothing more to do than destroy something meant for the pleasure of others,” Russell said.
“It was built to stand the test of time and the elements of nature. But in one night it came down in a frenzy of hostility,” Hopkins said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

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