Castle Rock Graffiti Removal Project
Over the years Castle Rock has suffered an increasing amount of Graffiti vandalism by a small percentage of park visitors. These unsightly markings on signs, trees and rocks are eyesores and detract from the visitor experience to this beautiful gem of a park. In late 2014 members of the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation (PCRF) began discussions with State Parks on how best to remove these eyesores. In early 2015, PCRF was awarded a generous grant from the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) which enabled the purchase equipment and supplies to conduct the first of a series of graffiti cleanup workdays in the park. Working with State Parks, the PCRF solicited volunteers for the first workday which was held on 8 August. Volunteers came from the Park Volunteers, the rock climbing community and park visitors who responded to project postings in the park and in various outdoor recreation stores.
The first workday was to some degree a trial. Both chemical and mechanical methods of graffiti removal were tried. The chemical agent, known, as Elephant snot, was sanction as environmental friendly by State Parks. Grinding equipment consisted of battery powered electrical drills with various grinding attachments. Safe-Wipes were used to remove graffiti from signs. This first workday showed what techniques and equipment work best for the various surfaces.
Park rangers and Assistants met with the volunteer crew in the park where teams were assigned to different areas. Participants were grateful for the delicious coffee provided by Peet’s of Saratoga- thanks Peet’s. The 3+ hour work session resulted in a significant improvement in the visual appearance of the Rocks and signs in the Castle Rock area of the park and the climbing area known as the Muffins.
Through this project we hope to educate and instill a sense of protection in visitors and volunteers. We are planning subsequent workdays later this year.