Vandals strike dino park again

By JESSE POWELL/Montana State News

Nearly one year to the day, the Bozeman Dinosaur Playground has been vandalized by the same perpetrator, according to Michael Harris, director of Gallatin County Conservation and Parks.

“It’s another $8,000-10,000 in damage,” Harris said as he surveyed the graffiti Sunday, Jan 15. “You can tell it’s the same kid. But this time he had a girlfriend.”

Harris called it a “spray-paint date.”

At least four murals were ruined.

“The chemical used to remove the spray paint dissolves all the paint,” Harris said.

All of the various murals that make the volunteer community park so popular are done by individual artists. They are not mass produced but unique to the park.

“You can tell they thought they were funny, but the kids (toddlers) can’t even read that,” a mother said as the pointed at the profanity on the climbing wall.

Harris said police have so far been unsuccessful in catching the culprit.

“Kid’s smart,” Harris said, “but somebody knows who he is.”

There is a $1,000 reward offered for information through the local Crimestoppers (406-586-1131) and a $2,000 reward through the park organization. Harris’s office can be reached at 582-3178.

Last year the FOR Parks organization that maintains the Dino Park sought donations and volunteers to make the needed repairs. Officials hoped that the proximity of the fire station and extra patrols mixed with patron vigilance would prevent damage to the popular community space.

Edited by Brianna Schutz.

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