Recurring vandalism at Liliuokalani Gardens on Hawaii Island

A well-known park in Hilo has become a recurring target for vandalism.

It’s been a problem for more than a year now.

Vandals have been tagging the grounds of Liliuokalani Gardens.

According to oral history, some of the land that the gardens sits on was originally passed down by Queen Liliuokalani.

We’re told this latest incident happened sometime Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Graffiti lined the wall of the tea house and the bathroom was also tagged.

“It’s disheartening and deeply saddening to find damage to the extent that we found on Friday morning,” K.T. Cannon-Eger, President of the non-profit Friends of Liliuokalani Gardens, said.

The history of the park dates back 100 years when the gardens were established by a group of women in 1917.

It’s the largest authentic ornamental Japanese garden outside of Japan, sitting on more than 24 acres.

“It’s a beautiful place, it’s very open, which is why so many people love being there. but because of that, the evenings and early morning hours, we also get a target,” Hawaii County Council Member Susan Lokelani Lee Loy said.

The non-profit told KHON2 they often find graffiti.

In other incidents, balloons filled with paint were thrown across the lawn and lanterns toppled over.

“Carving initials in the red bridge, the list just goes on,” Cannon-Eger said. “Several security measures have been under consideration and some action is about to be taken.”

Lee Loy told KHON2 she also plans to meet with the police chief and the parks director to brainstorm ways to prevent this from happening again.

“Figure out a more strategic way to utilize our county resources and find solutions that will end with the appropriate people being held accountable,” she explained.

On Saturday, about 25 members from the non-profit and the community came together to remove the graffiti. Because the tea house is made of wood, the damage was removed by hand and more work will be needed to restore the color of the aged wood.

The concrete structures were painted over by park maintenance crews.

If you have any information about who is behind the vandalism, call police.

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