Local Election

City removes large Trump sign hung in tree at Lake Padden Park

David Wagner, with Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department, removes a Trump presidential campaign sign that was mounted at least 30 feet up on a Douglas fir at Lake Padden Park. Political signs aren’t allowed on public property. Wagner took down the sign on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.
David Wagner, with Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department, removes a Trump presidential campaign sign that was mounted at least 30 feet up on a Douglas fir at Lake Padden Park. Political signs aren’t allowed on public property. Wagner took down the sign on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Someone went to a lot of trouble to hang a large Trump presidential campaign sign high up a tree at Lake Padden Park.

And where the sign usually reads “Make America Great Again!” someone had spray-painted “Nazi German,” in silver, over the last two words.

“We had to go to a fair amount of trouble to take it down,” said Leslie Bryson, director of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department. “To us, it’s like vandalism.”

Parks employee David Wagner removed it Wednesday, Oct. 19. The sign was at least 30 feet up the tree on the south shore – almost directly across the lake from the bath house where the Polar Bear Dip happens – and was clearly visible from the loop that goes around the lake at the popular park.

He said whoever put it up was a professional arborist or logger because there were spur marks from someone climbing the tree.

Bryson said the department received about 10 calls about the sign in the couple of days prior to its removal.

Political signs aren’t allowed on public property, Bryson said.

As for the spray-painted message on one side of the sign – the side that was the back – Wagner speculated that maybe the sign was vandalized elsewhere before it was mounted on the tree.

“We had a lot of public outcry about this sign,” Wagner said.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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