Vandals hit Manatee County’s Creekwood Park

The restrooms at Manatee County's Creekwood Park were damaged by vandals.
The restrooms at Manatee County's Creekwood Park were damaged by vandals.(Manatee County)
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 3:54 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Vandals caused an estimated $5,000 to $6,000 in damage to a park in East Bradenton, county officials said.

Creekwood Park, a popular dog park and recreation area on 44th Avenue East, was hit overnight by vandals who heavily damaged the park’s restrooms, drove a vehicle through a fence and ripped through grassy areas.

“It looked like an ATV went through the park,” Carmine DeMilio, deputy director of Parks and Grounds for Manatee County.

DeMilio says vandalism “has happened more often than not over the last couple of years,” to county parks, but not to this extent.

Manatee County is implementing new measures to make the parks more secure, including adding more park attendants that work later into the evening. “We’re also looking at an outside firm coming in to provide security,” he said.

The destruction of the park makes little sense, he said. “It’s frustrating.”

“If I had to guess, it’s probably some kids in the neighborhood that use the park,” DeMilio said.

“We’re adding these amenities, trying to make it safe for everyone,” DeMilio said. “But when things like vandalism happen, and the nonsense that goes into it, it’s an inconvenience to patrons as well.”

A team will be at the park Thursday to assess the damage and begin repairs.

A fence enclosing the dog park at Creekwood Park in East Bradenton was damaged by vandals.
A fence enclosing the dog park at Creekwood Park in East Bradenton was damaged by vandals.(Manatee County)