Sign cut down at Summerstown Forest

A sign marking the entrance to the Summerstown Trails lies at the side of County Road 27 near Summerstown, Ont. on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2017. Police are looking into who cut down the sign. (Supplied via Newswatch Group)

SUMMERSTOWN – Provincial police are looking for the vandal who cut down the sign greeting visitors to the Summerstown Forest.

The legs to the large wooden placard outside the recreation area on County Road 27 were sawed through over the weekend (Feb. 5).

Fresh wood shavings could be seen on top of the crust of ice-covered snow.

Paul Couture, president of the Friends of the Summerstown Trails, told Cornwall Newswatch he found out about the vandalism Sunday morning after his wife phoned him when she arrived to conduct some ski lessons.

“Very disappointed…frustrated, perplexed, angry. You get all these emotions. Why would someone be motivated to do this you ask.”

Couture says the sign, which is owned by the United Counties, is important as it “signalled an entrance” to their driveway, which can be hard to see if you’re driving along County Road 27.

“We’re having a large snowshoe race this Saturday morning. I know there’s people coming from out of town. So we’re a little bit concerned about people go sailing by looking for the big Summerstown sign. We have to come up with some alternate marking that entrance lane (this weekend),” Couture told CNW.

He said there has been vandalism problems in the past but it’s “getting less and less each year” as more school groups and people use the ski and snowshoe trails at the Summerstown Forest. He believes the good use of the forest is driving away the “shady elements from carrying on their nefarious work.”

But this case of vandalism “is a real jolt to see that sign. Again, it’s not the cost, but it makes us wonder why? We have no idea. Whether it was a gesture against us (FOTST) or against the county or a random act of vandalism.”

Couture said the county was quick to respond and offer their sympathies. But with the frozen ground, a repair won’t likely happen until the spring.

“It’s just so curious and frustrating that a community based organization doing so much good for the county and the school children and providing great recreational activities, we get treated that way,” Couture said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the SD&G O.P.P. at 1-800-222-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.