A small group of city officials and ordinary citizens have held open meetings for some months now to update Waterville’s Comprehensive Plan. We’ve been looking at what the city needs and how those needs can best be met in spite of the difficult economy.

One of the smaller ideas to come out of these meetings was to plant some trees in the playground at the end of Western Avenue, which had nothing in it but a few pieces of playground equipment — no shade, no plantings. The Parks and Recreation Department was happy to provide the labor, but there was no money in the budget for trees. However, a local homeowner at the meeting offered to donate some maple saplings that were growing on his property, and on Monday, six small but healthy trees were set into well-prepared ground, staked, watered and mulched. We had hopes that in the future, they would provide shade and beauty to the neighborhood.

Within a day and a half, one of the saplings had been broken and others were damaged, apparently by vandals whipping the saplings back and forth, according to someone who saw them. Why would anyone do this?

Claire Prontnicki


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