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Portion of Balboa Park hit with 'worst ever' tagging

Posted at 4:19 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 21:20:10-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - On the edge of Balboa Park, parkgoers arrived Wednesday to a fresh layer of graffiti across a popular playground area.

Joanne Schara leads a boot camp class at Bird Park at Upas three times a week. After a year of working out there, the things that drew her are now awash in graffiti.

"It's just sad to see. You come here because you want a happy space. People bring their kids. People bring their pets. Its beautiful," said Schara.

The tagging is everywhere, from the tables and benches and the wall wrapping around the playground area to utility boxes and graffiti on the ground.

"Doesn't give a good image at all," said Schara.

Cathy Lea has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years and takes her dogs to the park twice a day.

"When I see the graffiti, it's disheartening," said Schara.

Lea says every few days, there is more graffiti. On the concrete wall that surrounds the park, there are countless layers of tagging that have been painted over, only to be tagged again.

"That's not what this park is about," said Lea.

On the Nextdoor app, some longtime neighbors posted the current graffiti is the "worst they've ever seen."

Lately the graffiti has started to creep into areas previously untouched, including the playground set and the nearby rocks. As the tagging spreads, so does the frustration.

"It's not the kind of message we want to be sending in North Park," said Lea.

Several neighbors have posted on the city's Get It Done app to get it cleaned up. Parkgoers worry it'll be tagged as soon as it's cleaned up.