If you thought vandalism was just a city problem, think again.

With so many reports of vandalism in Bakersfield, especially targeted against businesses located downtown and in Old Town Kern, one might conclude that defacement and destruction of property is an urban issue.


At Shell Park, an equestrian riding area across the Kern River from Hart Park, someone (or a couple of someones) recently destroyed a section of those tough, seemingly indestructible steel guardrails designed to keep vehicles from crossing into dangerous or protected areas.

The galvanized steel guardrails are constructed from high-strength materials for effective impact absorption. The metal railing, roll-formed into the shape of a “W,” is designed to take serious punishment.

And punished they were.

In a series of emails accessible to a large group of local activists, park users, historians, county officials and other interested individuals, longtime area resident and Kern River Parkway co-founder Bill Cooper recently alerted the group to the damage.

"New damage at the recently installed Shell Park public access parking lot," Cooper wrote. "Info sent to the county and (Kern County Supervisor Mike) Maggard. To quote Supervisor Maggard, 'We WILL win this war!'"

According to Cooper, there have been two acts of vandalism so far on the newly installed railing.

But the county has shown it's serious about making improvements at Hart Park — with improvements to fencing, signage, and restrooms already on the books — and that vision extends across the river to Shell Park.

According to emails between Cooper and county officials, repairs to the guardrails have already been approved.

Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.

(2) comments


The vandals went to a great deal of time andwork to do that much damage. It never ceases to amazes me how so many aren't predisposed to use their time and energy more profitably and constructively. While we hope an arrest can be made, most likely the perps will get away scott free and the taxpayers will, again, spend much public treasure replacing what was senselessly destroyed.


Shell Park ... lots of tumbleweeds ...

Shell Park, which is located on the north side of the Kern River across from Hart Park and next to Camp Okihi on Round Mountain Rd., has been neglected for years. It gets its name from Shell Oil Company, which formerly owned the property. The county is placing 3.5 miles of bike lane on Round Mountain Rd., and reinforced barrier with pedestrian traffic, but no vehicle traffic into Shell Park. Rehabilitation efforts for Shell Park will continue.....

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