Culprit sought in vandalism of property at Lankenau High School

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Philadelphia police are trying to find the person who destroyed the environment at the Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School. (WPVI)

Philadelphia police are trying to find the person who destroyed the environment at the Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School.

At the school located in the 200 block of Spring Lane, what once was a green space used for games on spirit day is now more than an acre of plowed up mud.

"It was a beautiful field. Usually on spirit day I usually come back here and watch the boys play football," said Rakai Richardson, student.

Nearby gardens and planters, built by the botany club, that yielded vegetables and flowers are now just mud and kindling.

"I use to come out here every day during second period and just (tend the garden)," said Naseem Keats, botany club.

"When they hear vandalism, they think of broken windows and graffiti, but this is definitely vandalism," said Noah Mathis, student.

It's believed the assault by someone in a vehicle happened over two nights this week.

Lankenau is a small, close-knit magnate school dubbed the "county campus for the college bound."

A point of pride: What kids learn inside about the environment, they take outside to the gardens.

"They did everything from bottom to top, and to have that gone is absolutely devastating," said Meredith Joseph, teacher.

"Me putting my work in got this tomato to grow, and it feels great to know you help something grow," said John Howell, botany club.

The police are investigating, trying to find who is responsible.

"If anybody knows anything we're asking them to call the school, call the 5th district and let us know," said Karen Dean, principal.

Some of what was destroyed was donated. The kids are reaching out for help and neighbors want to pitch in.

"Maybe we can take up a contribution to help them get some cameras," said David O'Neil, neighbor. "Some neighbors thought maybe we can regrade this and help plant a meadow."

In addition to raising money to buy cameras for the school, there's also been talk about putting up barriers to prevent something like this from happening again.
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newsphiladelphia newsvandalismhigh school
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