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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Vandals leave kindergarten community heartbroken

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

Carey Street Kindergarten’s four-year-old group have been left with sad faces following the continued destruction of their ‘bush kinder’ area over the past few months.

The kindergarten has been taking their four-year-olds to Ararat College’s Nature Reserve – located between the Little Athletics Oval and the Ararat Reservoir – for the past five years, exposing the young children to the outdoors.

Ryan McKenna doesn’t understand why someone would ruin their cubby. PHOTO: Holly McAdie

Kindergarten Director Kara Bartlett said that ‘bush kinder’ is something the children look forward to each fortnight, always asking when they are next heading out for a day of adventures.

“They have that sense of freedom and can just go off and explore with no boundaries,” Bartlett said.

Both the teachers and children have been left disappointed by the recent destruction of the area and creations, escalating today when they arrived to discover their 18-month-old stick cubby knocked to the ground.

Bartlett said the news today has been heart-wrenching for all at the kindergarten.

“We do want people coming and sharing this space because it is a community space. But, it’s important that people respect the space for everyone who’s using it,” she said.

Carey Street Kindergarten has signed an agreement with Ararat College to use the site, as they have been doing for a number of years.

“In the last couple of months, we’ve really noticed that people have been using this space and we’ve seen branches pulled off trees, we’ve seen that fires have been lit and our cubbies have been destroyed. Just general menacing behaviour,” she said.

In particular, the climbing tree was really disappointing because it had some great, beautiful big branches that the children could bounce on. And that’s no longer there, which is such a shame.”

The children were quick to agree with their teacher today as they wrote charcoal messages to those causing the destruction around the area.

“Dear people, I am very angry and sad that you have wrecked our cubby and our climbing tree. I wish you didn’t do that. But, why did you do that? Love, Hamish.” Five-year-old, Hamish Russell

Bartlett said that she hoped the destruction doesn’t continue as it disappoints all the children who enjoy their day at the site.

“They’re actually really making children feel so sad and disappointed when they see that someone’s destroyed what they’ve created.”

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