Indianola Skate Park closed after offensive graffiti


Liv Allen

Derogatory language and slurs were found painted on the local skatepark following new policy about graffiti.

by Isaac Parks, Staff Reporter

Earlier this month, the Indianola City Council approved a new graffiti policy for the local skate park; however, after slurs were painted, the skatepark was closed. 

The new policy states that graffiti art will only be allowed on vertical walls inside the skate park fence and if obscene words and symbols are added, the park will be closed. The walls of the skatepark will be whitewashed periodically so new art can be added.

Doug Bylund, director of Parks and Recreation in Indianola, said that the new graffiti rules were implemented to deter graffiti in other parts of town and give members of the community a creative outlet. 

“We’ve had graffiti at parks and around town for as long as I can remember. We wanted to find ways to bring art into the city to curb that and to give groups in town an opportunity to show off their talents,” Bylund said. 

Vandals abused the new graffiti policy by painting the park with derogatory language and slurs. Additionally, graffiti was painted in places where it was not allowed.

The severity of the language has caused the Parks and Recreations committee to temporarily close down the skate park until the graffiti can be cleaned up.

The Parks and Recreation committee plans to keep the current policy in place and is working to develop new security measures to prevent use of offensive and obscene language in the future.

According to Bylund, the most important part of the prevention plan is to educate the youth so they understand why writing vulgar things is wrong. 

“With some of the stuff being written, vandalism isn’t the biggest issue here – it is much deeper than that,” Bylund said. 

Jacob Kime, a finance major at Simpson College, had mixed opinions about the new graffiti policy. 

“I see why they would want to do that for the city and it sounds like a good idea, but if kids are writing bad words then I think it does more harm than good,” Kime said.

Currently, the park is closed until further notice, with no set date for a reopening.