Albuquerque park continues to see trash and vandalism problem

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – From the park sign to the jungle gym, at least five spots on the playground at Mesa Verde Park were hit with spray paint. The graffiti is explicit.

“That’s awful,” Thomas Prando, who lives nearby, said.

Neighbors like Prando are upset but not totally surprised about this latest tagging.

“I rarely go to that park and I live two blocks from it,” Prando said. “Just because there’s usually, like, camps set up, and I’ve found needles, I don’t even like to take my dog to that park.”

KRQE News 13 was at the park last April as a mom worked to pick up all the needles scattered around at the park.

Despite the ongoing troubles, Park and Recreation Department’s Superintendent Mark Chavez said Mesa Verde doesn’t see more problems than any other park.

“It’s not necessarily just one part of town. You’ll see graffiti all over town,” Chavez said.

But cleaning up graffiti on a playground like this isn’t easy.

“A playground has multiple surfaces such as the slide, which is plastic. And oftentimes it’s very difficult to get the paint off of plastic,” Chavez said.

Neighbors have a message to anyone thinking about hitting the park again.

“You’re trashing your own stuff. It’s like your parents pay property taxes to pay for that park… and you’re only hurting your community and it’s really disappointing,” Prando said.

The Parks and Recreations Department estimates the damage and clean-up to cost under a thousand dollars.

The community center next to the park has surveillance cameras overlooking the playground. There is no word yet on if the vandals were caught.

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