Bellingham park suffers weekend vandalism

One of Bellingham’s most popular parks suffered damage over the weekend when someone drove across the lawn, tearing up the grass and carving deep ruts.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Nicole Oliver said a neighbor reported the damage at 4 a.m. Sunday.

“We are still assessing damage. We are working on a staffing plan to be able to close the gate at night and prevent this type of activity in this and other parks,” Oliver told The Bellingham Herald.

Oliver didn’t have an estimated repair cost but called the damage “significant.” A timeline for repair wasn’t immediately known.

A sign at the park entrance was blown over by a windstorm Friday night and wasn’t part of the vandalism.

A new weather-resistant sign will replace it, Oliver said.

Boulevard Park, with its expansive view of Bellingham Bay, coffee shop and playground, is among Bellingham’s “most loved” parks, Oliver has said frequently at public meetings.

It’s midway between downtown Bellingham and the Fairhaven shopping district along the South Bay Trail.

During fair weather the lawn often is crowded with sunbathers and others enjoying the scenery.