Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Ongoing graffiti and vandalism on trails in Norfolk County

April 27, 2021
Norfolk County

 

Trails in Norfolk County are being struck with widespread, troubling and costly vandalism. The vandalism includes graffiti with explicit sexist and racist references, profanity, symbols of hatred and names of local businesses and families. The damage is costly to repair and detracts from people’s enjoyment and feelings of safety on the trails.

This issue has continued to escalate and is now in several locations. Many trail users, runners, hikers and families have expressed concerns for their safety.

The Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club has been faced with thousands of dollars in sign damage. “We have 90 kilometres of trails maintained by volunteers who are frustrated and angry with the extent and seriousness of this ongoing damage,” says club president Rob Luke.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has also experienced disheartening vandalism on their trails at Backus Woods and have received numerous complaints from the public. NCC conservation biologist, Liv Monck-Whipp commented that, “Nature is for everyone. We are seeing more people visiting the trails to enjoy the benefits of nature these days and this activity is upsetting and offensive to visitors. It is discouraging and time consuming for staff and volunteers trying to care for these ecologically sensitive and important areas.”

“While Long Point Region Conservation Authority is always glad to have visitors enjoying the many benefits of nature and time outdoors at our properties, it's disappointing to see the mistreatment of these spaces,” says Brandon Good, LPRCA Superintendent of Conservation Areas. “The ongoing vandalism disrespects not only the land but all other visitors to it as well. Please be considerate and keep the trails safe and inclusive for all."

“It is very disheartening for the efforts of volunteers and the organizations that maintain trails for the enjoyment and recreation of the public to be subjected to this kind of offensive vandalism,” says Mike Postma, chair of the St. Williams Conservation Reserve Trails.

Other local organizations who have reported this issue include Turkey Point Provincial Park, Long Point Basin Land Trust and Norfolk County’s extensive rail trail system, including Waterford Heritage Trail, Lynn Valley Trail, Norfolk Sunrise Trail and Delhi Rail Trail.

Increasing sign defacement is tarnishing Norfolk’s reputation as a safe and scenic destination to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.

If you have information that could lead to the person(s) responsible, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the Ontario Provincial Police non-emergency hotline at 1-888-310-1122. All tips are completely anonymous. Increased patrols are also being implemented.

About

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, with more than 84,000 hectares (207,000 acres) in Ontario. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

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Media Contact:

Tara King
Manager, Communications
Ontario Region

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