LUBBOCK, Texas – Lubbock Parks and Recreation received a tip Thursday evening about several trees at McCullough Park that were vandalized with what they believe could have been an ax. 

“It’s like a kick in the gut,” said Rob Lee, Parks and Rec volunteer who helped plant the trees. 

Parks and Recreation said 15 trees were vandalized.

Saying in a post on Facebook, “This morning Parks and Recreation received a tip about damaged trees at McCullough Park (88th and Flint). We were sad to discover 15 of our trees were vandalized with an ax or something similar. The Lubbock Police Department is currently investigating. We ask all citizens to please help us keep our parks beautiful for everyone. We are trying to salvage the damaged trees and stumps at McCullough Park, we advise those visiting that location to please watch their step.”

Lee said the Cottonwood trees were planted three years ago as a donation by the US Fish and Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge. 

“It probably took them less than 15 or 20 minutes to run through here just whacking a machete, you could see some of the results here didn’t take long, it was kind of like a blitz kill, just swept through here and took them out,” said Lee. 

Lee said the City of Lubbock and the South Plains Chapter of The Texas Master Naturalist helped to nurture the trees. 

“What you see here is the destruction of three years of effort. We’ve been kind of nurturing them along and this is the best growing season that we’ve had and that was really disappointing,” said Lee. 

The Cottonwood Trees withstood a freeze and a drought, Lee said they barely had a chance to flourish. 

“A lot of people who came out here on their own time, literally using buckets to bring water out of the lake and water the trees to keep them alive, this year with this good rain that we’ve had just now and they just started to flourish. So it’s really disappointing and I just hope that we can get the word out,” said Lee. 

Parks and Recreation filed a police report and they asked for the community’s help in keeping the parks beautiful while they try to salvage what is left. 

“If somebody you know did it, let’s bring it forward. We don’t need somebody running through our parks and even into our yards with machetes,” said Lee.