Vandals damage Kayla's Playground in Franklin yet again

Posted: 7:06 PM, Jun 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-12 20:06:26-04

Vandals at Franklin Wood Park have struck again at Kayla's Playground. The play area was built for children with special needs to have a safe area to play.

Franklin's mayor, Steve Olson, and City Engineer Glen Morrow say they won't let these criminal acts slide. Park officials are teaming up with Franklin Police to get to the bottom of it. 

"We do have cameras on-site and so we're trying to make sure we have better lighting per the police requests," says Morrow.

On Friday, June 8th Morrow says workers discovered a huge hole in the rubber turf, that looked intentional, in one of the playground's hiding spots. He says brighter light installation and blocking off those hiding holes just a few changes. While the damage costs around $1,000 and can be fixed in house, Morrow says these repairs take money away from other park projects.

Nevertheless, kids like Christian and Litzy Andrade love coming to the playground. 

"I like to play on the monkey bars because I can swing on them," says Christian. 

"On the big swing, the great big swing and I love it!" says Litzy. 

City officials say they're working to fix the playground, but it's obvious the kids don't seem to notice the issue. 

Brother and sisters Sienna, Melanie, and Athan Kenenakhone, as well as, playground fan Alexander St. Arnold are all in agreement that the swings are the best. 

The Rondeau family enjoys their first time at Kayla's Playground. Mother Lisa says playgrounds like this are important, her twin daughters and eldest son can all play at this park which isn't always the case. 

"We really just need the community to kind of come together and make sure that we keep this nice and available for everybody," says Lisa. 

Pictures of the destruction are posted on the mayor's Facebook page. WTMJ reached out for a comment about this issue. 

“Kayla’s Playground was built with the generosity and strength of more than 2,000 people and it’s here for the benefit of everyone.  I’m saddened that someone has decided to be destructive but it won’t dampen the joy that the children who play there feel.  The city is committed to keeping the playground a safe, inclusive, accessible and fun place for families.  My hope is that the adults who visit the playground recognize the special nature of the playground and teach their children lessons of acceptance and respect.  Acceptance of all abilities and respect for each other and other people’s property," says Olson.