More on Hutt Park vandalism: At least 100 trees now believed damaged

More damaged trees discovered over the weekend by Laura Martin.

More damaged trees discovered over the weekend by Laura Martin.

Hutt trees more-1Updated with police case number, contact information

A citizen who first reported the damage to numerous trees at Edmonds’ Hutt Park in the Seaview neighborhood last week now believes that at least 100 trees were vandalized by an as-yet-unknown suspect.

Edmonds resident Laura Martin first discovered the damage to about 30 trees last Thursday and reported it to Edmonds City Councilmember Diane Buckshnis, who lives in the area. Since that time, Martin has discovered an additional 70 or so trees that had been vandalized in the park.

Buckshnis said that Martin’s this latest discovery indicates that the tree slashing “has been going on for quite some time and most damage was off the beaten path. So anyone with small children walking the main path wouldn’t have notice.”

Because some of the trees have wilted leaves, Buckshnis noted, city officials believe the damage is at least a month old.

The smaller trees won’t survive the damage; the only action is to cut down and replant, Buckshnis said. “For the larger trees, they will try to put some sort of paste…to try and heal them.” The oldest tree is estimated to be about 80 years old.

Martin said she believes the vandalism is the work of a local resident who “is very familiar with Hutt Park as this area of the forest is not accessible to the public by a trail and the terrain is covered in ivy, stinging nettles and blackberry bushes. I trekked the makeshift pathways that had recently been traveled to discover this devastating damage.”

The damage was initially estimated at $20,000 but that was prior to the additional trees being found, Buckshnis said. Edmonds police are investigating. If you have information, the case number is 14-3604 and the contact is Officer Moore. The Edmonds Police Department main number is 425-771-0200.

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Would any particular selfish person’s view benefit from having those trees gone? I can’t imagine another reason for this type of destruction. A real shame

  2. That is the uncanny conundrum; there is no one to benefit from this destructive assault on the trees. There is absolutely no logic behind this act. It makes no sense. The vandal(s) only targeted deciduous trees (namely maples and alders). There are many different areas of Hutt Park that the vandal(s) damaged, but the variety of the trees is consistent.

    I believe the oldest tree in this forest is actually 800 years old (not 80), however it was not damaged by the vandal.

    I am curious to know what the police have “investigated.” I have yet to be contacted by the police. And to my knowledge, no neighbors surrounding Hutt Park have been contacted or interviewed by police nor have I seen any police present in the area.

    Let’s face it, Memories fade. Since Time is of the essence, the police Waiting to conduct such vital interviews and actually go out in the field and investigate this crime is frustrating, especially for someone who values our already-disappearing green belts.

    You are right Char, this is a total shame. Very sad.

  3. I visited the park this weekend to check out the damage myself and from my own past experience managing some forested acreage I think the person or people involved used a machete. (I saw some cuts where the blade had struck and was withdrawn without taking a chunk of wood out and it was quite narrow in width.) I agree that it seems to have been going on for some time based on the damage I saw. I did not see anywhere near 100 trees, but I didn’t venture off the paths very much. I did notice that most of the damage seemed clustered around the north end of the park.

    I don’t think the damage was systematic enough that it’s an adult doing it for any sort of rational reason. Which would imply that it’s either somebody’s teenage kid wandering around the park with a machete, or a mentally ill person with a particular dislike for trees. Neither of those options seems very good. There’s a dimension to this that goes beyond the property damage.

  4. Teresa, can you please put the police report information in this article too. Laura, I was talking about the age of the tree that was assaulted. There is no views that are gained by this disgusting act.

  5. The worst of the damage is located on the west side of the forest. It is pretty isolated and hidden from the traveled pathways.

  6. Hi Laura, I saw you on KIRO 7 news tonight (Mon night) and I ran into you while on a walk w/my two dogs yesterday. You pointed out the eagles nest so I could see it. We need to set up a reward fund that will lead to information so the police can make an arrest. I have contacted My Edmonds News and am ready to make a donation. I can’t believe a teenager(s) would do this. There has to be a motive.

  7. Hi Jillayne,
    I have thought about that too and I think it is a great idea. I just do not know how set it up ‘officially.’

    Diane, do you know how we could set up a fund? Could we use the “go fund me site” and link donations to an account to save the trees damaged by the Hutt Park vandal(s)? I would be happy to go door-to-door. Thoughts???

    • I guess a “reward” fund leading to the arrest of the vandal(s) would probably be more efficient in finding the culprit and holding him/them accountable (as oppose to a fund to save the trees). Money is a powerful incentive.

      I think it is a fantastic idea Jillayne! I’m not sure what the protocol is for creating a fund to find this criminal. Does anyone know?

      • I think if nothing else putting up signs at the entrances to the park asking people to contact someone if they have information about the damage to the trees might be a good first step. It would also ensure that whoever is doing it will know people will be watching (and listening!) for it now.

      • If someone wants to set up a Go Fund Me Account to raise money for a reward fund, I will link it from the home page and continue to publicize. It’s easy to do – instructions here via gofundme.com

  8. did police ever investigate who vandalized the trees at EWHS several years ago ? There were many there that had to be replaced, as I recall …

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