Police have described the vandalism of Tumbarumba High School’s Yarning Circle and Garden and Anne Wilson Garden as a disgrace, with thousands of dollars worth of damage done.
The Yarning Circle and Garden and Anne Wilson Garden cost approximately $20,000 to build within the confines of Tumbarumba High School.
The gardens consisted of rock sculptures and numerous native plants and had just been completed in the past few months.
Police report that late night on Monday September 27 or early morning on Tuesday September 28, the vandals entered the Tumbarumba High School and destroyed the gardens by pulling out nearly all plants by the roots, snapping trees in half and pushing the stone sculptural pieces over. Two plastic rubbish bins were also lit; luckily these did not cause any damage to any buildings.
“The amount of damage was extensive and would have taken a significant amount of energy to cause this type of damage,’ a Tumbarumba Police spokesperson said.
“I would classify it as a disgrace and not something that I have seen in the 11 years I have been here.”
School staff are hoping that a number of plants may be saved when replanted, however, it is not known at this time.
Tumbarumba High School principal Michael Blenkins described the attack as “senseless”.
“We have been very saddened by the attack on the school’s learning circle and Gidja Gudja Garden project which were built with community support and funds from a Department of Education Careers Grant in 2020-21,” he said.
“Many plants were destroyed or uprooted. The school’s memorial garden was also deliberately damaged, including the water fountain and weeping cherry tree. Art works which had been completed by our students at Resilience Days, have also been damaged.
Mr Blenkins thanked the staff who donated their time in the holidays to re-plant large sections of the garden.
“We have been grateful to the local police officers who are investigating these attacks and gathering physical evidence for forensic analysis,” he said.
Police would like to seek assistance from anyone in the local community that may know something about this act. They can contact Tumbarumba Police Station on 6932 2840 or Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.