A Clark County Parks Department crew chief thinks fireworks are to blame for damage to a men’s restroom sink at Capt. William Clark Regional Park, in Washougal.
Terry Riggs said Camp Caretaker Susie Wedlake notified him on July 5, that a sink “had been blown off the wall” presumably the night of July 4.
Riggs said there was fireworks residue spattered on the restroom wall and floor.
“Nothing like that has ever happened out there,” he said.
Wedlake cleaned up the mess and then locked the restroom located a few hundred feet from the Columbia River. The faucet and drain were salvageable, but the porcelain sink needed to be replaced. The restroom was reopened July 6.
Wedlake, in her 12th summer as caretaker and watchperson for Clark Park, said this is the first time there has been vandalism of this magnitude.
“There were signs posted everywhere that said ‘no fireworks,’ yet there were probably a dozen people that still let off huge fireworks,” she said. “They did not take their debris with them, but they did put it nicely into neat piles.”
Wedlake estimates there were between 800 to 1,000 people at Clark Park for the July 4 holiday.
“There is no alcohol allowed in the parks,” she said. “There are signs posted everywhere saying that, yet there were enough empty beer bottles and cans, empty liquor and wine bottles to start your own business.”
Signs, reminding people to not park in the Clark Park parking lots from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., were installed in the spring.
Wedlake said the restriction to not park during those hours will be heavily enforced, and vehicles will be subject to tickets and towing during the late night and overnight hours.
Capt. William Clark Regional Park, located at 3400 S. Index St., includes Cottonwood Beach, group picnic shelters, water access, interpretive signage and the Columbia River Dike Trail. The park is part of the Clark County park system and is jointly operated by the county, Port of Camas-Washougal and the city of Washougal.