Vandals tear up soccer fields at Lake Zorinsky

This is the second time in as many months the lake’s grounds have been vandalized.
Vandals have struck again at Lake Zorinsky -- this time tearing up the park's soccer fields.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 10:24 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A goal of soccer practice is moving your feet -- but deep tire ruts have added an unwanted twist to training at Lake Zorinsky Fields.

“Definitely it’s a big obstacle because they can twist their ankle and can definitely hurt somebody for sure,” said Boris Gomez.

A vandal behind the wheel recently tore up nearly all of Lake Zorinsky soccer fields, where the Gomez family prepares for the upcoming outdoor season.

Omaha’s parks director estimates repairs to the soccer fields could cost a few thousand dollars.

The cost of this vandalism isn’t just measured in money, but also in lost time. The ruts need to be smoothed over, and the field replanted, to be made safe for play again.

The vandalism has been reported to Omaha Police, which has started an investigation. The Parks Department may have a lead, but tips will help fund who is responsible so the city can seek restitution for the field damage.

“When we run laps or do anything, it’s really hard to see if there’s a deep drop in the field,” Gomez said. “It’s hard on our ankles a lot.”

This is the second act of vandalism 6 News has found at Lake Zorinsky. More than two dozen cedar, pine and oak trees were chewed up by a forest mulcher last month. Neither the city nor the Corps of Engineers gave permission for the tree and brush clearing. The investigation continues into finding who chopped into the lake’s south woods.

Back over at the soccer fields, dog Max isn’t chasing a ball -- but a bird dummy.

“Training him for duck hunting now and later on, pheasant hunting,” his trainer said.

So the damage digs into public space used for many activities -- and the vandalism spins a pitch for added security.

If you have any information about either case, contact Omaha Police or the Parks Department.