Vandals Destroy Flower Planters at Church, Ridge Ave.

Leverington Presbyterian Church and some businesses fell victim to overnight destruction.

Unknown vandals uprooted the work of local volunteers, as flower beds and planters were disrupted overnight July 9.

Members of , Friends of Gorgas Park, the Roxborough Library Garden Club, and Roxborough business owners woke up Tuesday to find flowers ripped out, pots destroyed and soil strewn about the sidewalk and Ridge Avenue. The corner of Hermitage and Ridge, maintained by three volunteer groups, was hit hard.

Members involved on Wednesday vented about their frustrations but tried to put a positive light on the situation.

"We cleaned it up and planted again. I'm hoping this won't happen again," said Eric Dorville, officer manager and associate for church growth at Leverington Presbyterian.

Dorville filed a police report but didn't expect much to come from it—"I understand there's more important things than this, but it was a little frustrating."

Located at the corner of Hermitage and Ridge, Leverington Presbyterian Church has worked with its neighbors at the  and  to make that corner a well-maintained, green spot.

"We're all trying to clean the three corners as part of a revitalization program. That's a central point in Roxborough," he said.

Bernard Guet, executive director of the , said he tried to have perspective about incidents like this.

"It's good, on one hand, that's there's not murders, rapes everyday in Roxborough, and these are the kinds of problems we have," he said. "But it gets me upset and frustrated, at the same."

Through the , the RDC has installed planters up and down the main corridor. Only one RDC-owned pot was disrupted Tuesday, but Guet said business owners were struck.

"One store owner was growing fresh basil to put on pizza. I thought, 'Oh, maybe someone stole it,' but no. They just threw it on the street," he said.

Guet said the RDC just cleans the mess up and tries to move on. He speculated that the vandals were home-grown.

"I don't think it was people from Germantown, Mt. Airy. These are local people... Some dumb person wants to destroy things. I guess they think they're funny or they are bored," he said.

The RDC leader had a proposal for vandals or graffiti artists.

"If you're bored—let us know. We'll get you in touch with the Mural Arts Program and you can paint a wall here," he said.

On Wednesday, Ridge Avenue appeared normal. Volunteers were back at Leverington Presbyterian, watering plants and maintaining the grounds.

"It was hard for the older members who put all the time in. They just can't understand why someone would do that... We'll rebuild, and hopefully, God willing, the planters will stay there," Dorville said.

Roxborough Dave July 12, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Someone needs to implement a curfew or something. Kids in Roxborough have no respect for their community or other people's property (Not that adults are that much better ie garbage all over the ground). Every week I see a new graffitti tag. Recently someone tagged the Baptist Church on Mitchell and Rox Ave. If they get caught make their parents stand in public while wearing a sandwich board saying "I raised a kid who destroys your property'. On numerous occassions I've seen packs of teens entering the woods by the golf course carring cases of beer. They toss their empty cans all over. Oh... and they start campfires.. Drunk teens starting fires in the woods during droughts. Brilliant.
Debbie Thomas July 12, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I agree Dave. Yet you will see the parents of these miscreants placing the blame on the residents who have recently moved into the neighborhood. I remember when several business owners along the Ridge were being harassed, parents were claiming the area changed when the yuppies came.
Roxborough Area Man July 12, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Drunk teens having fun on a golf course? What is this....1974? And "...packs..." is overstating the issue, to be sure. (I live two blocks from the golf course). And it's far more likely that the 'yunker's kids are the problem children around here...we "...yuppies..." actually participate in our children's lives, and don't let them run rampant without supervision.
Roxborough Dave July 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I'm not sure I follow. I don't see how a parents of a miscreant can blame anyone but themselves. Yuppies move to town and then the local youths start acting up? I know you're not defending this (lack of) logic, Debbie. It just baffles me.. Also.. I didn't know business owners were being harassed. I've only lived in Roxborough two years. The local youths were harassing them? How so?
Roxborough Dave July 12, 2012 at 03:39 PM
'And "...packs..." is overstating the issue, to be sure. (I live two blocks from the golf course).' I'm not sure what mean. Overstating? I live ZERO blocks from the golf course (across the street). On numerous occasions I've seen groups of teens (and younger) enter the woods carrying cases of beer. Packs of 6-10 at least, often in waves. And who cares where they're coming from. Rox, Manayunk? What's the difference?
Roxborough Area Man July 12, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Better they are walking around, in a secluded and unobtrusive spot like a golf course (which kids have been doing for as long as there have been golf courses, I'm sure) than driving around...kids drink. It's what they do. It's what we all did. I don't see this as a real "issue", and if 6 to 10 kids from our neighborhood scare you well....they build suburbs for people like you. Where the kids drink beer on a golf course, I'm sure.
Debbie Thomas July 12, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Dave, it happened about 2 years ago. Teens were hanging out in back of the 7-11 at Ridge & Conarroe. Yoga on Ridge was next to it. They were harassing the lady who owned the business plus other places on the Ridge. Parents got offended when the Yoga woman created a Facebook page about unruly teens in Roxborough. The parents got angry and started with the "it's not our kids, it's the new residents moving in who are to blame". Then the ball started rolling with blaming the decline of Roxborough/Manayunk on the newbies moving in: yuppies, college students, etc.
Debbie Thomas July 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/19418-yoga-on-the-ridge- Link from the Newsworks site
Roxborough Dave July 12, 2012 at 05:42 PM
"if 6 to 10 kids from our neighborhood scare you well....they build suburbs for people like you." 'people like me'? Wow. That's a rude and divisive attitude. Did I say anything about kids drinking on the golf course? No. You clearly didn't carefully read what I wrote. I said they entered the woods THROUGH the golf course. DId I say that these kids are scary? No. What I (and many other Rox rsidents) take issue with is them destroying other people's property, littering and setting fires in the woods. And to use the 'we all did that as kids' defense is pretty weak. My friends and I drank on the very same golf course we're refering to. We collected our empties in a bag before we left. We never spray painted churches. We never trashed people's planters. We never started fires in the woods. I can't tell if you're defending these kids or not. You write that you supervise your kids and participate in their lives and then you say things like "they build suburbs for people like you.".
Roxborough Dave July 12, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Wow. That's really disturbing. I'd be curious to hear them try to explain their logic behind that theory. Thanks for the link, Debbie.
Roxborough Area Man July 12, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I'd be willing to bet the rates of vandalism are pretty much the same as there were "...in the good ol' days...". It's something that happens, and of course it SHOULDN'T, but kids are, by definition, dumb, immature, destructive, loud, obnoxious and ignorant of societal standards. It's just the way it is. And starting fires in the woods while drinking beer with friends is called CAMPING. And I apologize for the "...people like you..." comment. You are right, it was rude.
Roxborough Dave July 12, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Sounds like we're partially in agreement here, bud. And I appreciate and accept your apology. But saying ALL kids are like that is false and a blanket statement. Some are as you said: 'dumb, immature, destructive, loud, obnoxious and ignorant of societal standards.' I 100% agree that many are. But many are not. If you want to call it 'camping' go ahead. But these kids starting fires is a legitimate concern. I don't think they're sitting aroung w/Marshmallows singing 'Kumbaya'. If they were 'real' campers I wouldn't be concerned. I've seen the spots where they build these fires. They don't isolate them. In the event that one started spreading I wouldn't trust one of these teens to call the FD. I would imagine they'd just flee. These are DEEP in the woods. If, god forbid, one did get out of hand it would be difficult for the FD to reach it in a timely manner. All the moreso if it occured at night (which it most likely would). Our firefighters shouldn't have to be called on to deal with something like that.
Gerry Goblembeski July 12, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Ex Roxborough resident As someone who born and raised in Roxborough many, many years ago, the rate of beer drinking may be the same, but rate of vandalism was nowhere like it is today regardless where you live.


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