HASTINGS (AP) - Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to whoever has been vandalizing trees in a southern Twin Cities park.

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie announced the reward Friday.

Vandals have stripped bark from trees in Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. Citizens notified authorities after discovering that up to 20 trees had been
``girdled,'' meaning that a ring around the tree had been gouged into the bark. Authorities investigated and discovered many more damaged trees in the park.

Girdling almost always results in the death of a tree. The sheriff's office says thousands of dollars in damage to the trees was discovered throughout the park.