Members of the Southwest Conservation Corps assisted the park this week with the removal of graffiti along the Douglas Spring Trail, one of the park’s most popular trails. The clean-up project was arranged in response to last month’s vandalism, which included the tagging of 48 sites along three-and-a-half miles of this wilderness trail.
This incident was featured in a June 4th New York Times story on the upswing in vandalism in the national parks. Click on the “More Information” link below to see that article.
The SCC donated two, seven-person youth crews to the park to assist staff in cleaning rocks, water bars, and trail signs using “elephant snot”, a green product found to be effective in removing the graffiti paint. This product is also currently being tested on two of the eleven saguaros that were tagged. While it appears to be effective at removing paint from the saguaros, more tests and monitoring are needed to assure no additional damage is done through use of the product.
The Southwest Conservation Corps engages and trains a diverse group of young women and men and completes conservation projects for the public benefit. They will continue to work in the park over the next two weeks assisting with invasive species removal and trail maintenance.