Girl Scouts, volunteers build lily pond boxes in Balboa Park

Vandals caused $19K in damage to pond in August

SAN DIEGO - A group of local Girl Scouts and other volunteers took action on Saturday to restore a treasured jewel at Balboa Park after it was destroyed by partiers in August.

For Taylor Laughter, hammering a couple of nails and putting together a frame is not just something to do. It is also her way of restoring the lily pond in Balboa Park that she has grown up visiting.

"I'm just surprised that they did that while they were at Balboa Park," she said. "This is one of the most beautiful parks in California, so why would they do that?"

Laughter was referring to vandals who destroyed the lily pond in August. Police say they were likely at a water gun party where more than 2,000 people showed up. Aside from trampling the landscaping and scattering trash everywhere, vandals also broke the pipes, draining the water from the pond and causing more than $19,000 in damage.

That is when the Girl Scouts and other volunteers stepped in. On Saturday, they were building new lily pond boxes to replace the 27 that were destroyed.

Kelly Abbott decided to bring his son to help out.

"As a volunteer, someone wants to see how you can make your mark in the community and it will be fun for my kids to come to the park and see where these boxes are and say they had a part in it too," he said.

Laughter said she is excited to finally see that outcome.

"I can't wait until it's all built and everything is built back to normal," she said.

Once all of the boxes are built, the next phase of the restoration project is to drain out the water from the pond. Then, the lily pond boxes will go back in. That is scheduled to happen sometime next month.

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