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Vandals torch playground equipment in Nictaux

Somebody set this Nictaux playground equipment on fire Friday, April 12 around suppertime. Two sections of the tube will have to be replaced. In the meantime, the playground on Old Runway Drive is closed.
Somebody set this Nictaux playground equipment on fire Friday, April 12 around suppertime. Two sections of the tube will have to be replaced. In the meantime, the playground on Old Runway Drive is closed. - Contributed
NICTAUX, N.S. —

Annapolis District RCMP are investigating vandalism at the local playground that happened April 12. And while damage was minimal, locals -- who spent several years fundraising, planning, and building the place for kids – are not happy.

Police said multiple calls were received about equipment at the playground being on fire.

“RCMP and fire services made a patrol and the fire was extinguished,” said RCMP Const. Cheryl Ponee. “There was a large hole in the side … where the fire burned through.”

Marilyn Coleman, who started the Facebook group Let’s Get A Playground in Nictaux in 2013, said the climbing tube will have to have two sections replaced.

“The damage was caused by a towel set on fire in the tube,” she said. The tube melted, dripping liquid plastic onto the pea gravel below.

“It happened Friday shortly after supper,” she said. “My son’s wife is a firefighter and he came to the house to tell me.”

The community came together to make the playground happen and Annapolis County Recreation became involved and owns the facility.

“The playground was thought of when we realised we had probably more kids in Nictaux than Middleton and no place for them to play,.” Coleman said. “We had two dinner auctions at the Middleton and District Lions Club in Nictaux.

The food and the hall were donated, and Lions members donated their time.

“Many family members as well as friends and community worked long hours to make these a success,” Coleman said.

While Coleman is upset about the damage to the playground, she was also concerned for those who vandalized it.

“I think the ones responsible don't know how seriously they could have been hurt,” she said. “Being so close to fire and melting plastic could have been devastating for them. Mistakes were made and no one was harmed.”

It appears that somebody may have set the towel on fire and threw it into the tube that links the play platform to the slide.

“I was so disappointed and disheartened to learn about the destruction some individual(s) caused to the Playground,” said Sandi McLean, who with Coleman and others spearheaded the playground project. “Building the playground couldn't have happened without many months and hours of hard work by so many within the community and surrounding area.”

Those two dinners raised almost $25,000 for the playground project on Old Runway Drive. Ground was broken by former Annapolis County Warden Reg Ritchie in 2015.

“It's sad that such a thoughtless act will take away from so many children and volunteers,” McLean said. “If anyone knows anything please contact the RCMP.”

For now, the playground is close until repairs can be made.

If anyone has information on the vandalism, they can contact the Annapolis District RCMP at 902-825-2000.

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