WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Late last week, a person or people illegally cut down several evergreen trees in Anderson Park in Wheat Ridge, police said.
In a joint statement, city staff and the Wheat Ridge Police Department said the trees took a long time to grow and establish stable root systems. The 28-acre park has been managed by the city's parks and recreation department since 1969. It is located at W. 44th Avenue and Field Street.
"Some tree species have a hard time getting established in our parks' conditions, especially evergreens," said Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation Forestry and Open Space Supervisor Andrew McDonald. "So each one is a really precious resource."
McDonald said the department would have to remove the trees now that they have been damaged. The two trees known to be cut were a white pine and a white fir — the latter of which was left by a dumpster nearby.
McDonald said officials were still not sure if a person was cutting the trees for a Christmas tree for their home or if it was an act of vandalism.
"It takes a lot of time and effort to grow each tree, and each one is a valuable asset," he said.
The WRPD said the people responsible for this may be charged with criminal mischief, and if convicted they could face hefty fines.
Anybody with information on this crime is asked to call the WRPD at 303-237-2220.
Multiple parks and National Forests welcome visitors to cut down a Christmas tree each year with a permit.
Denver7's Pattrik Perez contributed to this report.