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Conservationists dealing with the spread of graffiti in Cottonwood canyons

(Credit: Serena Anderson)

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON – Gang graffiti is a common problem in the urban areas, but, conservationists say it’s getting out of hand in the Cottonwood Canyons.  They met last night to discuss ways they can get a handle on the growing problem.

For decades, a lot of the graffiti in Lower Cottonwood Canyon was focused into a pavilion at the Little Cottonwood Hydro Power Plant.

(Photo from Serena Anderson, showing the vandalism before the pavilion was removed.)

However, a year ago, that pavilion was removed.

“The folks that have been doing that have now decided, ‘Well, you took away our play space, we’re going to go and expand out,” according to Cottonwood Canyons Foundation Executive Director Serena Anderson.

The vandals, she says, have been making their marks all over climbing boulders and carving up trees.  They’ve also reportedly been painting rock scree fields.

“It goes up in the air 80 to 100 feet, maybe even more, and they’ve been climbing those rocks and painting all on them,” Anderson says.

(Credit: Serena Anderson)

Part of the problem is a water pipeline that crosses over Little Cottonwood Creek.  Anderson says people have actually been walking on top of the pipe to get to the areas where they’re causing a lot of damage.

Anderson says, “The people who have been doing the tagging have immediate access within a minute and a half, right from the road.”

The group has started a GoFundMe account to raise money to place fences around that pipeline.

“If we can get these gates funded and get these gates put up around this pipe, we can probably cut this down by about 75 percent, at least in that location,” she says.

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