ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The friendship garden of the Delaware community suffered serious vandalism at some point over the weekend of May 7, an act the owners say has left them “heartbroken and questioning humanity.” A very sad sight from the scene of the alleged crime shows children’s toys, art projects, and picnic tables covering the ground, while buildings are left in utter disrepair.

“It absolutely goes against the message of everything we’ve taught in here, which is why I believe it wasn’t [vandalized by] kids that have ever worked in here. I don’t believe they would’ve ever caused this kind of destruction,” said Susan Fowler, the Garden Coordinator. “The children that have worked in here love this place.”

Susan said the garden’s roots go back over 20 years, and she’s made it her mission to not only teach kids to nurture their environment, but also their community.

Clean-up efforts are slated to began on Tuesday around 2:30 p.m., and the community came out in droves to help out. It’s not an easy job, with the garden shed bearing the brunt of the damage and littered with broken glass. Volunteers came prepared with gloves, and the shed was pretty much cleared out and being reorganized by 4:00 P.M.

“It was pretty sad to hear the news and see the pictures, so that’s why we are here today,” said Natalie Aiello, who came with her husband to help clean up.

The organization also plans to work on Thursday, at the same time. If anyone has a couple of boards they would be able to nail over the shed’s broken window, for the time being, that would be appreciated. The garden is located on Hurlbut Street in Albany.

The Albany Fund for Education has set up an online donation portal to help the rebuilding effort. All funds will go directly to restoring the garden, which is so beloved in the Delaware community.

A police report has been filed after the incident, but no leads had been reported as of Tuesday morning. If you have any information on the horrific act, you can contact Albany Police detectives at (518) 462-8039.

Fowler hopes the person or people who destroyed the garden are caught so she can invite them to come work among her plants.

“I know that if they had a chance to experience the garden and be here with us and help, this would never happen again,” she said.