CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - Lilly Kujawa ran to be the first in her family to enter
But she was turned away, disappointed. Early Thursday, someonetorched the popular playground at Chesapeake's City Park.
"I really wanted to go to the park," said Lilly, "Because I wasall excited, then, we can't."
Mothers and their children showed up at the park all day Fridaylooking to play in Fun Forest. "Closed due to fire? Huh!", saidone. They all turned away when they learned of the fire.
Another mother consoled her daughter, "All right buddy, youknow what, we're gonna have to do something else because there wasan accident at the park."
While Fun Forest is closed, the rest of the park remains open.The annual Eggstravaganza will go on this weekend as planned.
Lennie Luke, Senior Planner for Chesapeake Parks and Recreation,describes what was set on fire.
"It was our Math Maze, an element of our park that was on fire.It was investigated immediately by the fire department and it hasbeen deemed to be an arson."
The fire department has not determined a damage amount yet andhas not named any suspects. Until the damage is repaired orisolated, the entire playground remains off-limits. More than 1,800volunteers built Fun Forest in 1995. Since then, the park has wonawards for its design.
"It's a real operational wonder out here," Luke said. "We've hada lot of fun with over the years and we're sorry to see thishappen."
He says this school break, there will be a lot of young childrenwho can't enjoy the park. The department is already working ondesigns and expects Fun Forest to open again this year.
Fun Forest was originally built with volunteer efforts,corporate and public donations. It will take that kind of effort torebuild it.
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