Vandals strike Standish Preserve
Two benches, sign thrown in pond
STANDISH TOWNSHIP — The Standish Preserve watershed, located at the corner of Bordeau and LaFave roads in Standish Township, part of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy (SBLC), had two of its benches and a sign listing the preserve’s contributors thrown into a pond located at the watershed, which is approximately 300 yards from the Saginaw Bay.
Unfortunately for the SBLC and anyone who liked to visit the watershed to fish or enjoy the scenery, not much more is known about the acts of vandalism, including when the incident actually occurred.
“At this time we don’t know when it happened. It could have happened over the winter for that matter,” said Arenac County Undersheriff Don McIntyre. “We know that approximately $69 in damage was a result of the vandal.”
SBLC Executive Director Valerie Roof says a person living near the preserve contacted both the SBLC and the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department regarding the incident.
“My gut reaction was sort of a disappointment and sadness I guess. … We have seven preserves and we’ve never had this happen before,” Roof said. “I thought initially that some folks might have had a party and just did this, but I didn’t see any trash or debris.
“Somebody pulled out the sign and threw that in the pond and they cut off the benches at the foundation and threw them in the pond.”
McIntyre added that the preserve doesn’t have a reputation as a spot for partying.
Fortunately for the SBLC, which aims to protect watersheds around the Saginaw Bay in an effort to increase water quality in the bay itself, no environmental damage was done due to the vandalism.
“The actual act wouldn’t hurt the conservation of the watershed,” Roof said, adding the act instead lessens the opportunities for the public to enjoy the watershed, since the two benches removed provided seating for people fishing or taking in the sites around the preserve’s pond.
Roof also says the SBLC received a call about the incident on Monday, April 20 and that on Wednesday, April 22, volunteers and members of the SBLC took a trip to the preserve to remove the benches and sign from the pond.
“I think we can salvage the sign,” she said.
McIntyre says anyone with information regarding the vandalism is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s department at 989-846-9181.
There are currently no suspects in the case.