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Irrigation System for Pease Park Trees Vandalized

A view of Pease Park.
Photo by Lindsay Sorensen
A view of Pease Park.

Members of the Pease Park Conservancy think someone has it in for some of the park's trees.

The group helps care for the trees in the park that hugs Shoal Creek between 15th and 24th Streets. The group planted several new trees on the west side of the park, to replace some wind-damaged trees. They also set up "bubblers," an irrigation system that uses a trickle of water to keep the tree roots moist during the hot, dry summer.

Yesterday, some conservancy members noticed that 44 of the trees were showing signs of stress. Then they saw that the bubbler system wasn't working. Then they found out why.

"Opening up the irrigation control valves, we found snipped wires in there, and someone had vandalized it to kill the trees," conservancy member Will Hornaday told KUT today.

It's not like the wires were easily accessible, either.

"You have to bring a socket wrench in, and open up the control box. And then they were sealed back up," Hornaday said. "So it wasn't like they were kicked open, smashed open. This was somebody who planned to come out there with a wrench, open up the box and snip the wires."

This apparently isn't the first time it's happened either. Hornaday says that, since December, they've had the irrigation system wires cut. Someone even cut down some of the new trees. When we asked him why someone would do this, he responded, "I have no idea."

The Conservancy has filed a report with Austin Police.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.