Rarely a day goes by that Paulik Park isn’t lovingly attended to by members of the Richmond Gardening Club – its ornamental plum trees and perennial flowers are particular points of pride.
So, it was “very, very upsetting” that three large SUVs ended up cruising down the park’s pedestrian pathways, said Lynda Pasacreta, the club’s chair, which could have ended up injuring someone.
“This is a family park, and there’s nothing to tell you that you should drive in,” said Pasacreta. “They’re driving right on a pathway used by visitors to the park, and a lot of those visitors are young families. So it’s just unacceptable…It’s just not using common sense – or you don’t care.”
The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday, said Pasacreta, and has raised safety concerns.
Luckily, one of the garden club’s younger volunteers was at the park at the time and was able to snap photos of the cars and their licence plates and alerted Pasacreta to the incident.
Pasacreta said she heard the cars were there for a party of about 40 people, who not only drove through the park, but left their mess behind as well. She added that it looked like a tent was jammed into the park garbage can, which was also surrounded by bags of trash.
While there wasn’t any damage to the park, someone could have gotten injured, particularly considering one of the cars appeared to back in, she added.
“This was a newly-seeded lawn, and there’s gardens edging all along that path. And there’s old ornamental plum trees and fruit trees, and it’s just filled with perennial flowers. It’s just not meant to drive into,” she said.
The photos of the cars were passed along to the City of Richmond, said Pasacreta, adding the garden club will continue to work to educate and connect with Richmondites about the park and how to treat it.
City spokesperson Clay Adams confirmed that the city was notified about the incident, and is “concerned that some individuals would feel they can randomly bring a vehicle into a public park without permission.”
However, Adams said there’s little the city can do unless staff are on-site at the time. People are encouraged to contact the city immediately should they see something like this, or call Richmond RCMP if there’s a risk to public safety and/or damage to property.
City staff will also monitor Paulik Park more closely, Adams added, particularly after hours, to ensure such actions are not repeated.