Steelhead Park in Houston faces vandalism, theft of plants

Park landscapers urge community to be vigilant

Steelhead Park in the District of Houston has recently seen a rise in vandalism and theft of plants.

Rachelle Barden, who is in charge of maintaining and landscaping for the park, along with her husband Tom, recently posted on Facebook, pictures of the uprooted plants, some missing, some strewn across the ground after pulling them out.

“Lately there have been some miscreants at night stealing a bunch of plants. In all the 16 years that I have been working here, there has been hardly any vandalism, there has been an odd time or two when somebody drew on a picnic table or something and I am proud of our town that we have such good people in our town for the most part, but it is disheartening that there are people running around, thieves who just don’t care about our town,” said Barden.

Barden discovered the missing perennials and the recklessly abandoned annuals last week, and took to Facebook to express her disappointment and outrage at such acts of vandalism.

“The thieves have been ripping out annuals and leaving them there, but they have been taking the perennials so they are obviously trying to start a new flower bed. And the perennials are expensive,” she said, adding that once such damage is done, it becomes an expensive and time-consuming activity to clear up the mess.

Barden’s company Blu-Sky Landscaping owns the contract for landscaping the park, through the District of Houston. So any small vandalism has to be repaired and paid for by the company. Apart from the monetary impact of vandalism, the aesthetic of the park also suffers according to Barden as the couple always plans and plants carefully to make the park have a certain design and pattern. Barden then has to move around other plants from the park and “it ends up kind of looking ugly.”

“I don’t want people looking at each other suspiciously, but I want people to be aware that if they are walking late at night, there are thieves out and about and that they can keep an eye on it if they see something that looked suspicious, like if you see someone in the flower beds at night, that’s not us out there working but that could be somebody stealing,” she said adding that since the couple can’t be at the park at all times keeping a watch, it is up to the people in the community to be vigilant.

Barden is also urging the community to either inform the district’s Manager of Operations, Chris Lawrence or the RCMP in case they see someone stealing or vandalizing.

“I am just hoping that the thieves will stop stealing really because the park is there for the town, it is not there for me, it is my job but it is there for everybody to enjoy it but it’s a sad thing that people would do that. And I hope that they will now know that we all are keeping an eye out for them,” she said.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Just Posted

BC Hydro replaced poles in Houston on Oct. 23 causing a power outage in many spots in Houston. The next power outage for a transformer replacement is for today at Oct. 28 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in these areas - 2240 to 2275 Baggerman Place; 3710 to 3895 Baggerman Crescent. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Pole replacements in Houston

BC Hydro replaced poles in Houston on Oct. 23 causing a power… Continue reading

District of Houston
Keep on trucking … not

Council is shelving a planned truck stop feasibility study in favour of… Continue reading

District of Houston
District honing in on webcasting of meetings, events

Would further engage residents in District business

Claude Parish Memorial Arena
Arena lobby project receives financial top up

Money comes from Dungate profits

Those pushing for the expansion, are in the process of gathering public input before sending in the application to the government. (Houston Today File photo)
A few from Buckflats meet over Dungate Community Forest expansion

The meeting was held on the back of the suggestion to have an advisory committee

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read