HALIBURTON, ON – Vandals have damaged a family-friendly attraction in Haliburton.

Sometime between Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th the Enchanted Forest at Abbey Gardens saw a person or people tear apart slides, break glass and destroy books at the popular destination. It is the first time in the three years of the forest it has been vandalized.

Irene Heaven is the education coordinator at Abbey Gardens. She said while it is hard to put a dollar value on the damage, the sweat equity put in by students who helped design the play area is what is most upsetting to have lost.

“Unfortunately, it was a group of kids who have been coming here every spring and fall for seven weeks and they are the ones who designed it and worked with them and put it into the grounds three years ago,” said Heaven.

She estimates about twenty families might visit on a typical Saturday, making for about one hundred visitors per weekend. Abbey Gardens is a local food grower that depends on those local ties to the community.

“It is active from when we open it May long weekend to when we typically close it at Thanksgiving,” Heaven said.

Staff will be going out on Tuesday to do more clean-up and get the forest open for this coming weekend.