Vandals strike at Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve is recovering from an incident of vandalism. An investigation is currently underway following destruction of property that was discovered during a morning bird walk on Saturday, August 12. Along the trail of the wildlife preserve’s peaceful greenery was a path of seven damaged benches, some even thrown into Lake Ballard, fire debris from the nonprofit’s rain barrel system and fire damage to public-use kayaks.

Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve Executive Director Ashley Morgan talked about her reaction to seeing the destruction. 

“I was devastated,” Morgan said. “It felt surreal, it’s a huge loss to the community… and I just look forward to getting back to being able to do what we do and provide the services to the folks that love this place.”

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Longtime Volunteer Doug Mueller and Intern Shawn Edwards talked about their reactions to the destruction. Mueller expressed his distress over the damage caused.

“I can’t believe that someone would stoop so low,” Mueller said.

Edwards, who in the past learned how to kayak at Hoffler Creek, also talked about his dismay of the destruction.

“There’s no way that’s real,” he said, reflecting on his initial reaction.

On messages to the perpetrators, Morgan said that she had “no words.”

Mueller however, said this:

What did you get out of doing this?” he asked. “What did you get out of destroying this?”

When asked if they will have a party following rebuilding, Morgan ended with this:

“I think a celebration of some sort will definitely be in order,” she expressed with a laugh. “I know that it’s going to take, as it takes the community to maintain this place through dollars and time, it’s going to take the community dollars and time to get us back on track. It’s going to take significant time I think, but it will be worthy of a celebration.”

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