ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Keeping Albuquerque's 300 city parks in pristine shape is a big job and vandalism only makes that job more difficult.
"There's just a whole host of things that people do - knock over light poles, trees being vandalized, pushed over. It just runs the gamut really," said Paul Hyso, marketing manager for Albuquerque Parks and Recreation.
For example, at Desert Springs Park near Unser and Gibson, someone decided to take a spin on the grass, doing donuts and tearing up the lawn in the process.
Unfortunately, neighbors near that park say that's something they are used to.
"It will be vandalism from spray painting, to just trash, tearing up the equipment," said Carl Gonzales
The city's parks department said in the last six months, officials have received 26 calls through 311 about vandalism at parks all across the city, but the problem is more widespread than that. Hyso said many cases don't get reported.
The city does have money built into its budget for vandalism clean up and repairs, but some people may be surprised how much fixing it costs.
According to Parks and Recreation, a bench or table runs about $1,300. The baseline cost for covering up graffiti is $100.
"The costs can add up really quickly and just a sprinkler head is $75 to repair. So, it becomes a very expensive proposition," said Hyso.
The city has to spend about $70,000 a year replacing damaged or stolen sprinkler heads alone.
The parks department agrees which is why they are asking neighbors to help them out by reporting anything that may look suspicious to 242-COPS.
Hyso said it is rare police catch trouble-makers in the act and once the damage is done, it's tough to prove who did it.
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