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.