Racist graffiti was discovered in a Lower Mainland park this past weekend.
At least one historical plaque in Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge was damaged with black marker or crayon reading “F*** Blck [sic] Lives”.
It is unclear if racist graffiti appeared elsewhere in the park.
“There was some graffiti on the bandstand and there has been the theft of some of the plaques, but the two things might not be, and are likely not, related,” said Valoree Richmond, director of parks and facilities for Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation & Culture.
Last week, as part of the regular maintenance of Memorial Peace Park, a staff member noted that there was some graffiti markings on the bandstand on the concrete surface, Richmond explained.
There were six markings in total.
City staff began cleaning off the graffiti on Tuesday using a power-washer and returned on Wednesday to do an overall washing of the bandstand and the surrounding site.
General clean-ups, said Richmond are part of the regular maintenance of the park and just had to be moved forward by one week because of the graffiti.
The removal of the dedication plaques is an ongoing issue and is separate from the graffiti.
Five plaques were reported missing last November, said Richmond, and 12 went missing in January, which prompted police to open a file on the matter.
Currently staff are looking at options, in consultation with the Maple Ridge Concert Band Society, on a long term solution to recognize the contributions of donors rather than plaques that will reduce the opportunity for theft, said Richmond.
The graffiti was reported to the Ridge Meadows RCMP through their online reporting system by a Maple Ridge resident as mischief or theft under $5,000.