Although caught on camera

Although caught on camera

Trail plant theft a growing concern

City of Trail security cameras will no be monitoring flowerbeds after $400 in plants have been stolen or vandalized this season.

Smile, you are on camera.

People who choose to peruse a budding flowerbed in the city will now be captured for posterity on one of the city’s new surveillance cameras, installed this week after City of Trail flowerbeds were afflicted with a spat of vandalism.

On Tuesday Trail Community in Bloom volunteer Bill Garnett said there have been several incidences this year already of people uprooting freshly planted plants, trampling or outright stealing them.

Along with several dozen other volunteers, Garnett has been diligently placing plants in the fertile soil in areas around the city—primarily the downtown—but has found they are spending more time replacing and restoring what has been destroyed than designing verdant foliage.

“It’s a cost to the city,” he said. “After a while the garden centre will run out of the plants and you can’t replace the ones that were lost.”

He estimated the city has lost about $400 worth of plants already out of the $140,000 the city budgets for planting and maintaining beds.

The Community in Bloom committee has also lost several dozen volunteer hours since volunteers have to go back and do the work each time the weed of vandalism crops up, draining precious hours from the workforce.

Around 170 hanging baskets and nearly 100 potted trees are being strategically placed in the Silver City’s downtown core—and throughout the Gulch—as part of the Trail Community in Bloom committee’s next attempt in the international Communities in Bloom competition.

In the White Garden in Jubilee Park people are letting their dogs run loose and they are jumping into the planters, uprooting the new plantings. Garnett said he has had to repair the damage three times since they were planted two weeks ago.

Three nights ago a $70 lantana standard tree was stolen from a bed in the Gulch. Some of the damage is unnecessary and senseless, he said, with flowers being uprooted and cast about.

This sort of trouble has occurred in the past, Garnett said, but it was usually later in the year, and not to the extent that it has happened this year.

If caught on camera vandalizing the city’s beds, people could be prosecuted for their actions, said Garnett.

This year marks the 10th anniversary the city has participated in the program, holding a max record of five blooms for eight of those years.

All of the work is now underway, with over 100 volunteers being called upon before the Communities in Bloom judges arrive July 12-14.