Three concrete fairy-tale characters that were extensively damaged by vandal/s last week at Kings Castle Provincial Park are being repaired.
The Three Pigs and Mamma Bear, in a small wooded area, and a large rabbit stationed near the entrance to the property were all targeted. A wooden lighthouse, at one time used on a float in a parade was also hauled onto the beach which borders the back of the park.
Leon Murphy of Sturgeon, with Murphy's Home Improvement, was on-site early this week to begin doing the repairs.
Park Officer Darlene Cuddy said she was extremely grateful and he is, "doing a wonderful job."
No clues were left behind by those responsible for the damage, according to Ms Cuddy. There were no tire (ATV, dirt bike or vehicle) tracks on the beach or inside the park.
“Not that I could see anyway,” she said.
The rabbit was a large concern to Ms Cuddy because it’s the first fixture visitors, and children in particular, see when they enter the park.
Generations of youngsters and adults have climbed onto its back to have keepsake photos taken over the years.
The ears on the rabbit were smashed.
The characters are made up of three to four layers of cement which is formed and held together by chicken wire.
“My heart was broken, but today’s a new day,” Ms Cuddy said on Friday. “I’m going to take a positive from this.”
That positive she refers to is the fact that Mr Murphy stepped forward to help.
Also inspired by the outreach of literally hundreds of people from across the region, Ms Cuddy said she had initially made some quick fixes to the storybook characters for cosmetic purposes.
The damage was discovered by a resident in the area who walks through the park daily.
Ms Cuddy has worked at the day park, formerly named Fantasyland, for 22 years. No admission fee is charged and it is popular gathering place for picnics, celebrations and Islanders and tourists alike.
“Any damage breaks my heart but we haven’t seen anything to this degree,” she said.
“This couldn't be fixed by Band-Aids.”
A testament to the park’s popularity among area residents is the fact that each spring Ms Cuddy often invited the public in to do a clean-up before the official opening. This typically involved picking up branches and raking and often dozens of people, young and old, would come. Volunteers were then rewarded with hot dogs, ice cream and other treats.
“I can’t believe all the people who have reacted to this (the damage),” she said. “People are stopping me on the street, giving me hugs. Incidents like this affect more than the people who work at the park, the whole community is made a victim of crime.”
The park celebrated its 50th year last summer.
Kings District RCMP is investigating the incident which took place between 8:30 pm on May 29, 2019 and 11 am on May 30.
The park will officially open for the season on Friday, June 7. It is already steadily booked with school groups.