Vandals with spray paint damaged signs and wetlands boardwalks at Chisholm Creek Park in Wichita on Monday night, referencing the Pokemon Go game with some of their spray-painted images.
That disappointed not only park officials, but also other Pokemon Go players in Wichita, some of whom have played the game at the 282-acre park near 29th and Woodlawn and have also volunteered to pick up trash there.
“It’s a shame that people have to treat good things like that and damage things that are free like that,” said Caleb Sifuentez, 17, who will be a senior at Eisenhower High School in Goddard. She played Pokemon Go at the park on Monday and picked up park trash while she played.
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“People work hard to let you enjoy things, and these people gave a bad name to the Pokemon game,” she said.
The vandals spray-painted names – perhaps their own – on park sidewalks and boardwalks.
Those names have been reported to Wichita police, said Jim Mason, director of the Great Plains Nature Center.
These people gave a bad name to the Pokemon game.
Caleb Sifuentez, Pokemon Go player
“Perhaps, if there are enough breadcrumbs left out there like that, the police can bring justice,” he said. “This is really juvenile and destructive, and please don’t do it anymore.”
The vandals sprayed big X’s on some of the park’s interpretive nature walk signs, each worth hundreds of dollars. They sprayed messages on walkways that will cost hundreds of dollars to sand off, Mason said.
“It will involve many hours of staff time trying to correct,” Mason said. “We don’t know how well we’ll be able to correct the vandalism without destroying things that visitors to the park have enjoyed for years.”
Chisholm is a city park; Mason works for the city’s Park and Recreation Department. When the Pokemon Go game became a craze, park staff put out a sign welcoming players and asking them to come into the Great Plains Nature Center, located at the park, to sign up as volunteers.
By noon on Tuesday, more than a dozen people, most of them Pokemon Go players, signed up, took trash bags given to them by park officials, and went to work.
Sifuentez and her friend and fellow Eisenhower High senior, Ally Rakestraw, both 17, signed up and worked.
They should be grounded.
Ally Rakestraw, Pokemon Go player
“We’re talking about going back to pick up more trash tomorrow,” Rakestraw said.
“Whoever did this ruined it for everybody, and even for the wildlife,” Rakestraw said. “They should be grounded.”