HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Vandals have struck at Hopewell’s new Riverwalk.
The Hopewell Riverwalk is a boardwalk that originates in City Park and follows the shoreline of the Appomattox River towards the Hopewell City Marina. The boardwalk opened two months ago.
“I think it’s a great addition to the park here,” Hopewell Resident Marvette Hodge said. It’s just a cool atmosphere, it’s peaceful.”
The boardwalk is now experiencing instances of vandalism such as writings on equipment and even defacing signs.
Hopewell Recreation and Parks, say they see an uptick of these types of acts when the weather gets warmer. They intend to put a stop to it.
Hopewell Recreation and Parks Director Aaron Reidmiller says any structure made out of wood is an easy target.
“Vandalism takes away valuable budget dollars that could be used towards programming or other park improvements that we have to waste on repairing senseless vandalism,” Reidmiller said.
The damage affects the appeal of the city facilities, Reidmiller added.
“Something like that new, you want to keep it new,” Hodge said. “You want to keep it as an attraction to Hopewell.”
Hodge said it’s not a good look and the fact that it new makes it worse.
“Maybe they can even think about putting handprints of children along the boardwalk,” Hodge said. “Anything to kind of live it up a lil bit to make somebody not want to take the marker and just mark all over it.”
Park officials encourage visitors to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.
“Stay engaged during the summer months and it benefits everyone in the long run,” Reidmiller said.
Hopewell Recreation and Parks told 8News they are willing to file charges against anyone accused of causing vandalism on the city’s facilities.