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Treasured Smoke Bluffs Play Park Little Library torched

Neighbourhood asking why, but also ready to rally after third act of vandalism.

On Monday morning, vandalism to a community treasure has some Squamish neighbours asking themselves, "Why?"

The beloved "Smoke Bluffs Play Park Little Library," which was built by a local resident and his children in August of 2020, was vandalized for the third time.

This time, it was torched.

Neighbours salvaged some of the books when they found the fire around 8:20 a.m. It was out by 9 a.m. with the help of Squamish Fire Rescue, according to area resident Diana Gunstone.

Previously, someone knocked it down, and a neighbour picked up the pieces, and another neighbour rebuilt it. Another time, the windows were broken out. Someone else repaired it after that.

"It's a labour of love for this community and it's just been an amazing community connector for little ones — it's low down —  or adults who wander by, and it's just a stopping place to chat with people or find a good read," said Gunstone.

"If you're frustrated and disappointed with something, there are better ways."

She said it is helpful for folks to know this happened, and that the neighbourhood is rallying. Perhaps someone has a camera on the spot and didn't know it happened, for example.

A police file has been created with the Squamish RCMP. (file #22-253)

"There's a resilience here, and it's just, ‘How do we respect each other's interests and spaces and places?’" Gunstone said.

A Squamish Community Foundation neighbourhood grant initially helped build the little library.