Volunteers wash away graffiti at Saguaro National Park
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - An effort to clean up Saguaro National Park continued today just weeks after vandals tagged a trail and its prized cacti with graffiti.
A month after the vandalism, there is still a sense of shock, outrage and confusion about what happened along the Douglas Spring Trail.
"It is really disheartening to us," Park Ranger Estee Rivera told 9 On Your Side, "these are our national parks that are here for the public."
"It took a lot of effort to hike in three miles and walk back down and spray paint, so someone had serious intent and I can't figure it out," said Dustin Mackiewicz, a member of the Southwest Conservation Corps.
As Park Rangers still determine what treatment to use to clear the graffiti without further hurting the saguaros, members of the Southwest Conservation Corps volunteered their time to wash away other markings along the trail.
"The main thing is we get a chance to clean it up," Daniel Kennedy said.
"It is really rewarding," Mackiewicz said.
Volunteers used a "green" graffiti remover called "elephant snot." They brushed the gooey substance over the graffiti markings. Once that dried, they rinsed it off and the black spray paint was gone.
"I feel so privileged," Southwest Conservation Corps member Laurel Friedlander said about cleaning up the park. "I feel like I'm part of something a lot bigger."
And it is something bigger because this park is also a national treasure.