READING, Pa. - Something needs to be done to protect one of Berks County's crown jewels, according to members of the Foundation for the Reading Public Museum, who are weighing their options for the museum's arboretum.

John Graydon Smith, the museum's director and CEO, said the first step is to have the building and grounds committee do a study of how to possibly secure the arboretum.

"It's beauty is something special," said Sharon Ackelson, who frequents the outside green space with her husband.

People all over Berks county say it's a treasure to the community.

"I come to the Reading museum often to practice my hand pan," said Donna Fanelli, who lives in Shillington.

Fanelli said she was saddened to learn of the most recent vandalism that's causing the board to rethink the future of the arboretum.

"I'm going to make it a point every time it's sunny to come out and play this [hand pan] so it can kind of bring some positive energy to the area," she said.

That "positive energy" is something Smith said is needed.

"This most recent spate of vandalism is the next incident in a long line of incidents that have been happening over the last several years," said Smith, adding that something needs to change. "That could be increased security presence. That could be increased cameras, could be fencing."

The problem is those solutions come at a cost, and the museum doesn't have a lot to work with.

"We don't get taxpayer dollars," Smith explained. "We're not a line item in somebody's budget. Everything that happens here is raised privately in the community."

It's a community that hopes whatever change is made isn't too drastic.

"I know how many people love this park, this area and respect it," said Ackelson.

So far, no decisions have been made on exactly what changes will be made.

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