People visiting Parksville often comment on the nice flower gardens that dot the downtown core. But city crews were busy repairing and replanting them Friday after vandals ripped out entire beds of flowers overnight Wednesday and Thursday.

“When things are happening like this people are just getting really upset with it,” said John Derek who owns a jewelry store on Island Highway in downtown Parksville.

One flower bed outside his store that runs along the roadside for about 50 metres was entirely trashed with every single flower ripped out of the ground.

“It’s really getting sad because Parksville is such a lovely tourist town and a lot of the businesses rely on that tourism,” he added.

At Oceanside Stylist and Barber Shoppe next door, even the planter box mounted on the wall had been vandalized as were other private planters in the area.

“Haven’t they got something better to do with their life than pull up plants? I mean you know it’s just not right,” commented one employee who works there.

The City of Parksville calls it”frustrating and demoralizing” for city staff who do the planting, adding that police have been asking for video surveillance of the area but they still have no idea who’s responsible.

“We really don’t know who,” said Parksville Manager of Communications Deb Tardiff. “I don’t know if it’s just somebody mad at the city, if it’s just a 17-year-old punk who’s just mad at his parents, we don’t have a clue. It’s huge disappointment and frustration because they work really hard at this time of year.”

While the vandalism isn’t’ the biggest crime, it’s the sheer senselessness of the act that has local people stymied.

“To have whoever it was, come along and just make a mess and ruin everything, for fun probably, is really horrible,” said Jane McCormick of Oceanside Stylist and Barber Shoppe.

The vandals caused about $2,000 in damage.

Anyone with information can call the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111.

Dean Stoltz