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Funland at Tautphaus Park Vandalized: Broken Windows and Graffiti Found

IDAHO FALLS (Idaho Falls News Release) - The Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department is disappointed after a group of individuals vandalized the recently restored Funland at the Zoo and the Tautpahus Park skatepark.

On Friday morning, Zoo staff arrived at the Funland facility and discovered the vandalism. As staff began coordinating with other department personnel, they realized this was not isolated to Funland alone. Graffiti was found in the park along with other damage. Security footage from Funland showed multiple individuals tearing window shades off of the log structure and breaking into the structure at Funland before ripping the cameras off the building. 

Idaho Falls Park and Rec Photo

“While it may seem funny to a small group of people, this appalling display of disrespect for public property is disheartening for the staff who have to clean up the mess,” said Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Director PJ Holm. “Our parks are meant to be enjoyed by everyone in the community. The damage caused not only disrupts the enjoyment of the park but also places an unnecessary burden on taxpayers who fund these projects."

Parks and Recreation staff reported the vandalism to the Idaho Falls Police Department. IFPD is investigating and anyone with information should contact the Idaho Falls Police Department at (208) 529-1200. 

Idaho Falls Park and Rec Photo

Vandalism to park facilities is not isolated to Friday morning’s discovery. Over the past several years, Parks and Recreation staff have seen a dramatic rise in vandalism. Damage to bathroom facilities, kicked-off sprinkler heads, and defacement of playgrounds and other structures are common.

In a given year, vandalism to park facilities is estimated to cost the department and, ultimately, taxpayers more than $20,000.  As part of the efforts to deter vandalism, the department has installed numerous security cameras and increased the public presence of staff and security throughout the night hours. 

Additionally, Parks in Idaho Falls are closed between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to promote public safety, reduce vandalism, and ensure a better quality of life for residents. The parks curfew ordinance was passed in 2022, making it a misdemeanor for anyone to be present in a public park, park amenity or cemetery when closed to the public unless they meet some exceptions. 

Idaho Falls Park and Rec Photo

These exceptions include driving a vehicle on an interior public park roadway that provides direct access to the person’s residence and actively traveling on a designated bicycle and pedestrian pathway are allowed when parks are closed. People can also attend an authorized, permitted event during the hours parks are closed.

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