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'Disturbing': Trees on local trail vandalized with swastikas

'Coming upon that type of graffiti has got to be very disturbing,' says Barrie police official
Police are investigating a recent incident of graffiti in the area of Lackie's Bush Trail, where several trees were vandalized with spray paint.

Visitors to Lackie’s Bush experienced more than just a walk in nature earlier this week, after several trees were spray-painted with bright blue swastikas.

The Barrie Police Service was made aware of the graffiti at the popular trail — located across from the Allandale Recreation Centre — by city staff Thursday afternoon, confirmed the force’s communications co-ordinator, Peter Leon, who told BarrieToday he believed plans were already in place to attempt to remove the graffiti without damaging the trees.

“These are senseless acts of mischief that are unnecessary and, certainly, the symbols that are being spray-painted are most unacceptable given what those symbols represent,” said Leon. “We, unfortunately, see different types of spray paint, mischief (and) vandalism occurring throughout the city, but when it is of that type of nature, it’s disturbing, to say the least.”

Leon said the individual, or individuals, responsible likely don’t fully understand the symbolism behind what they are painting and how hurtful that can be for people.

“It’s a sad part of history that does not need to be repeated, and those symbols do not need appearing throughout our community,” he said of the swastika, which was used by Adolph Hitler as a symbol of hate during the Second World War.

“People who reside in that area like to ride their bikes through there, go for walks … and coming upon that type of graffiti has got to be very disturbing,” Leon added.

Although the isolated location makes it more challenging to locate whoever spray-painted the trees, Leon is asking anyone who frequents the area and may have seen anything suspicious to come forward to police or contact Crime Stoppers.