A frustrated Facebook post about racially-based graffiti at Wilson Ponds led a concerned local man and his son to volunteer to repair the walking path at the popular fishing and birding area south of Nampa.
Ron and Ross Carrico, owners of AMU Inc., a Nampa-based commercial ground maintenance business, were at Wilson Ponds early Wednesday morning applying asphalt sealer to several sections of the damaged paved walking path.
"I grew up out here, so it’s hard to see this kind of thing,” Carrico said. “I’d take Ross fishing here when he was younger, so giving back like this is simple. It just makes you feel good.”
Sometime Friday evening, Aug. 19, vandals spray-painted graffiti on the restroom facilities, 100 foot wall, benches, several dozen signs, and asphalt walking path, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Visitors noticed the damage Saturday morning and reported it to authorities.
Idaho Fish and Game, which works with Canyon County Parks, Recreation and Waterways to manage the area, was grateful for Carrico’s quick reaction.
“I was at the office Tuesday morning figuring out what needed to be done first, and in walks Mr. Carrico wanting to help,” said Dennis Hardy, recreation site foreman for Fish and Game in Nampa. “They are donating everything and they don’t want anything in return.”
The Carrico’s involvement began after Ross read of the vandalism on Boise resident, Amber Nicole Bennett’s Facebook post, which also urged volunteers to help clean up the area. Bennett was personally outraged by the senseless destruction, as her late father, David McClellan, worked for Idaho Fish and Game and helped construct the wall, pathways and restrooms.
While most of the graffiti at Wilson Ponds has been removed, except for several sections along the path, Hardy is appreciative for the community support shown.
“It’s really uplifting to see all the public support this incident has generated,” Hardy said. “We have received several offers of help to clean up the mess, and now having them actually helping with the work. It is sure appreciated.”
Authorities are looking for the person or persons responsible for the damages. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Canyon County Sheriff’s office at 208-454-7531.