Turf wars

PUHI – The Kauai Police Department is seeking the individuals who cut out a sizable section of synthetic turf at the Puhi Park playground and hauled it away last week.

A similar incident occurred in June at the Anne Knudsen Park in Koloa. Over the last three years, the county spent about $12,000 to resurface each of these playgrounds. The total cost to repair them is $2,600.

“It is very discouraging when vandalism occurs at our parks, especially when it takes place at our playgrounds, which are designed for our keiki to safely enjoy,” said Lenny Rapozo, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “We are asking for the public’s help with stopping vandalism.”

When this type of thing happens, everyone is affected, he added.

According to the county Parks & Recreation Department, the synthetic turf is installed at playgrounds as a safety surfacing. It is specifically designed to meet Head Impact Criterion (HIC) and g force ratings (g-max) that have been established to reduce the likelihood of critical injury in the event of a fall. 

Under the synthetic grass are thick foam pads that provide a cushion. The turf portion is for wear and aesthetic purposes.

“There are replacement costs and manpower requirements, all of which are borne by the taxpayer,” Rapozo said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Police Dispatch, 241-1711, or Crime Stoppers, 241-1887. Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit organization that offers cash rewards of up to $1,000 to anyone furnishing anonymous information that leads to an arrest.

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