City crew works to clean up vandalized planters in Petaluma

After a group of volunteers organized to do the work, a city crew on Tuesday cleaned up downed trees and broken pots left by vandals in Petaluma.

"We don't have to lift a finger. The city has kindly stepped in," said Alan Allen, a Petaluma resident who organized the volunteer effort.

By early Tuesday afternoon, the Lakeville Street mess was gone.

"All of our squawking and pulling together volunteers got the attention of the city," said Virginia May, director of the Petaluma Arts Center. "Which is great."

The vandal or vandals struck early Saturday, knocking down nine young trees in large pots.

The trees had lined a sidewalk in front of the Petaluma Arts Center and the Petaluma Visitors Center.

From Saturday to Tuesday morning the vandalism remained with the toppled trees encroaching on the street.

Allen heard of the crime during the weekend. On Monday, Allen and his son Jacob, 13, went to see what they could do.

With the help of another man, they tried to right the pots, but they were too heavy. So Allen lined up a loaner forklift and put out the word for a team of volunteers to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

A local restaurant delivered juice, milk and water for the effort.

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