Public trees vandalized, reward offered

During the recent snow storm hundreds of tree branches came down because of the heavy snow.Posted Oct. 30, 2013

broken tree

By JAMIE SPAINHOWER

Adams County Record Editor

 

During the recent snow storm hundreds of tree branches came down because of the heavy snow. Many residents were outside shaking limbs and branches to remove as much of the snow as they could, trying to save the trees on their property.

Yet the trees that line Main Street are being intentionally vandalized.

“We’ve been struggling with this off and on,” said Al McIntyre of Beauty of Hettinger. “But this year we’ve lost about 20 branches up and down Main Street.”

These trees are paid for by the community, at its desire to do something to make downtown Hettinger more attractive and appealing.

Beauty of Hettinger volunteers plant, water and care for the trees and the baskets of flowers every season.

McIntyre estimates four or five trees will need to be removed and replaced with new ones in the spring.

“We’ve had this project for about three years, and they were just starting to get some growth. Now we have to start all over,” he said.

In addition to branches of all sizes being broken some of the trees have been topped, and won’t continue to grow correctly.

So many fought to keep trees that come down in the storm. This vandalism is a sad thing – people are destroying what was put up for their enjoyment and benefit.

Some local businesses have stepped forward and a reward of $500 will be paid to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals. An account has been set up at Dakota Plains Federal Credit Union for anyone who would like to donate to the reward fund.

“We decided to add the incentive of a reward so someone will come forward with some information,” said McIntyre.

Anyone with knowledge of the vandalism is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office.