Recruiting Volunteer Graffiti Busters in Mesa Verde National Park
Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628
National Public Lands Day
Local volunteers will roll up their sleeves and devote their day to removing graffiti as part of the 15th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 27. These national cleanup days give Americans an annual chance to make public lands in their local communities safer, prettier, and more desirable. NPLD is organized by the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation supported by nine federal land management agencies, and sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, USA.
Mesa Verde is recruiting a maximum of 25 eager volunteers as “Graffiti Busters.” Training will be provided by park archeologists before the project begins. “There are a number of different ways to tackle graffiti depending on the material used to inscribe on the surface, and also the type of surface inscribed upon,” stated park archeologist Gay Ives. “The severity of the graffiti determines the treatment.” Volunteers will learn to assess the graffiti on a case by case basis, and administer appropriate treatment.
On Saturday, September 27, "Graffiti Buster” volunteers should meet in front of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum at 9:00 am. Bring work gloves, snacks, lunch, and water. The park will provide tools and instruction. But, if you have your own wire brush, bring it with you.
“Mesa Verde envisions the ‘Graffiti Busters’ to be a long term team, who will periodically go around the park and rid the park of graffiti,” stated park spokesperson Tessy Shirakawa. “It would be far better if we didn’t need such a team, but they will certainly improve the visitor experience in Mesa Verde, and hopefully the ‘Graffiti Busters’ can someday become obsolete.”
You must register to become a Mesa Verde “Graffiti Buster,” only 25 slots available. Please contact Lee Vanden Bosch at 970-375-5465.
For the fifth year in a row, volunteers who work at a site managed by any of five federal agencies will be rewarded with a pass good for free entry any day during the next year at public land sites managed by those agencies: National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
National Public Lands Day is also Fee Free Day, so entrance fees are waived. The entrance receipt is valid for seven days, so visitors should not throw them away. However, user fees, such as for ranger-guided tours of the cliff dwellings is still in effect.
Come join the “Graffiti Busters.” It will be hard work, but you will see immediate results.
Did You Know?
On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.