A Hamurana resident is calling for barriers to be installed in the reserve after cars have ripped up grass and "made a hell of a mess" in the area.
About 9.30pm on Sunday, three cars were heard in the Hamurana Reserve, across the road from Kathy Martin's home.
While they were only there for 15 minutes, "they made a hell of a mess" and left the lawn chopped up and mud all over the walkway.
They took off, with one returning around 11pm, doing another "big wheelie", she said.
"I was hoping they would get stuck in the mud, but they didn't."
Martin said this kind of vandalism had not happened for a while as a result of lockdown, but had previously been a frequent occurrence.
Martin reported the incident to Rotorua Lakes Council but the drivers were too quick for her to grab their registration numbers.
She said fence posts or some sort of barrier needed to be put in place to stop cars from accessing the grassy part of the reserve because asking them to leave was not really an option as people could become abusive.
Rotorua Lakes Council has reported the incident to police.
Police were alerted to the damage to the grass at Hamurana Reserve and Reeme St Reserve on Monday afternoon.
A police media spokeswoman said the caller advised the damage appeared to have been caused by a car and took place on Sunday. There was no further information at this stage.
Thee council's sports, recreation and environment manager, Rob Pitkethley, said there was also damage to the Reeme St reserve in Ngongotahā on Sunday night. He did not know whether the incidents were connected.
"It's always disappointing when people choose to do the wrong thing," Pitkethley said.
"What some people don't realise is that it is the ratepayers and others in the community that end up having to pay for this type of damage."
Contracting company Infracore would reinstate the surface and monitor how the turf responds but this time of year wasn't great for trying to grow grass, Pitkethley said.
If the grass did not grow back naturally the grass would be reseeded in spring.
The damage was mainly restricted to the grass areas and Pitkethley believed it should be repaired "reasonably" quickly.
"Council has worked closely with the community in Hamurana and Ngongotahā to upgrade both these reserves in recent years and some much-appreciated improvements for locals and visitors have been made."
What to do if you see vehicles damaging a reserve:
• Do not approach the vehicle
• Take notes of the vehicle registration, make and colour
• If you can do so safely, get pictures of the vehicle
• Phone the police straight away
• Report the damage and car details to council on (07) 348 4199
Source: Rotorua Lakes Council