Noah Wilson remembers the summer between Grade 6 and Grade 7 well.
The Spaniard’s Bay native was 11 at the time and wanted to get better at basketball. He spent every day working on his game at the basketball courts at the Spaniard’s Bay Recreation Complex on Back Cove Road.
“I spent every single day at the park playing basketball,” said Wilson, now 22.
From there, those basketball courts became even more of a fixture in his life as he picked up baseball, and his group of friends fell deeper in love with basketball.
The courts, and the recreation complex, moved from a training space into a space where he and his friends could hang out and build relationships.
“We spent a lot of time there,” he said. “It’s where we all grew up.
“It kept us out of trouble and gave us something to do.”
In recent weeks, Spaniard’s Bay has been dealing with an increase in vandalism at its playgrounds Tilton and the Spaniard’s Bay Recreation Complex across from Holy Redeemer Elementary.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the Spaniard’s Bay recreation commission pointed to damage done to various parts of chain link fencing, a large amount trash left around the facility, a soccer net that had been knocked over and broken glass that was found in parts of the park.
The complex is home to the town’s ballfield, a playground, a soccer pitch, a community garden and basketball courts.
That news came as a disappointment to Wilson, partly because he can’t do anything to keep people from vandalizing the property and partly because it is a space for the community.
“I know how much work goes into keeping it going,” he said. “That (equipment) costs a lot of money and it is there for their use.”
At a recent council meeting, Spaniard’s Bay moved to purchase and install security cameras in the area to serve as a potential deterrent to vandals.
“It is not just one incident,” said Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Paul Brazil. “It’s been on the go all summer.”
Brazil said the issue is again on the agenda for the next council meeting on Oct. 19.
Again, they will discuss any measures the town can take to deal with vandals. That might include contacting the RCMP when it happens.
“You have to try and keep ahead of it if you can,” said Brazil. “You still have to go ahead and fix it.”
The mayor was previously heavily involved in the recreation scene in Spaniard’s Bay. While he is not as involved as he once was, Brazil still likes to keep an eye on how things are going.
He knows the importance recreation facilities have in a community and the benefits they give children and young people.
Brazil said he was disappointed to see the disregard some people have had for the recreation facilities in town and the affects the damages have on the volunteers who use the facilities.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said