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Willmar, Minn., officials close Robbins Island Park due to vandalism

Water pools Wednesday in tire tracks at Robbins Island Park in Willmar. The city, which says the tracks are a result of mudding and excessive use by pickup drivers, has closed the park access temporarily to let the damaged areas heal before crews can reshape the soil. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR — The city of Willmar has closed the Business 71 entrance to Robbins Island Park until further notice after individuals, mainly driving pickup trucks, tore up the soft soils in the park.

Acting City Public Works Director Bruce Peterson recommended the park be closed after the damage was brought to his attention Monday morning by the Public Works supervisor.

“People have chosen to drive off the pavement and have torn up some areas badly, joy-riding, mudding, whatever you want to call it,’’ Peterson said. “The soft soils and the mud this time of year are too attractive.’’

Peterson said he made the decision to close the access to the park temporarily and to let those areas heal a little bit until the city can get in there and reshape the areas “and hopefully reestablish themselves.’’

Anyone with information about the damage is asked to call the Willmar Police Department at 320-235-2244, according to the department’s Facebook page.

Peterson said the damage took place farther back in the park.

“It’s just vandalism,’’ he said.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150