Vandals strike playground named in memory of Glace Bay girl

Just weeks away from her fourth birthday, Jaycee Tracey died suddenly from meningococcal septicaemia (Twitter/Kyle Moore)

Just days after being renamed in memory of a four-year-old girl who died tragically, a park and playground in Glace Bay have been struck by vandals.

The sound of children playing and families enjoying the summer weather at the park strikes an emotional chord with Kenny Tracey.

The green space was recently renamed in memory of his granddaughter, Jaycee Tracey, who passed away suddenly in May from meningococcal septicemia. 

“It holds an extra special spot in our hearts now,” said Kenny Tracey of the Community Commons Society. “So hopefully we can keep a closer eye on it and enjoyable to for everybody.”

Still mourning the loss of Jaycee, Tracey and his family were left heartbroken once again, after discovering thousands of dollars’ worth of damage at the park this week.

“To be quite honest with you, I probably can't tell you how I really feel on camera, but it is disheartening,” said Kenny Tracey. “It's so disappointing.”

Tracey, who is also part of the community group who made the park a reality, says the benches that have been damaged cost $2,500 apiece and new siding for the building will also be pricey.

There is anger among those who use the park regularly.

“I'm quite hurt over it,” said resident April Yates. “It shows you what kind of people are around here that they don’t really care or value anybody's property.”

Tracey says the Cape Breton Regional Police have been made aware of the vandalism and will be making extra patrols, but so far nobody has been held accountable for the damage.

“Your heart felt good when you came down to the park and you watched the families and kids enjoy what we have here today,” Tracey said. “And now, to rename the park after my granddaughter is extra special, and I want to make sure it's taken care of.”

Tracey says there is video surveillance on the property and footage has been turned over to the authorities.

He says the price tag to repair the damage will be in the thousands of dollars, but vandalism to a place that is so special for many in the community hurts more than the pocket book.

Tracey says a new sign with Jaycee's picture will be erected soon, along with a memorial bench.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.