HURRICANE – The popular jumping rocks, at Sand Hollow State Park, will be closed Friday through Sunday to give the park staff a chance to clean up garbage that has been left behind by visitors.
The park is seeing a growing problem with trash and graffiti, and the closure is needed to catch up with the accumulating trash.
“The problem we’re having at the jumping rocks … is that among the wide variety of things to do here, all of the beauty, it’s being marred by littering, graffiti, things being thrown into the water even,” Darren Tucker, assistant park manager, said.
The jumping rocks, as they’ve come to be called, are a part of a sandstone formation located not far from the boat ramps at Sand Hollow Reservoir. However, the area’s popularity is also leading to a problem created by careless visitors.
The problem has gotten so bad, that about 100 pieces of garbage could be seen on the jumping rocks formation Monday.
“And that’s just since yesterday,” Tucker said.
Sand Hollow camp hosts and the park staff remove the garbage, but many of the park’s seasonal workers have recently gone back to school, leaving the park with fewer available hands to help.
“We do what we can, but we’re spread pretty thin,” Tucker said. “It needs to be done. We’ve been putting it off.”
More than 100 man-hours were spent on the most recent round of graffiti removal, Tucker said. Much of the graffiti consists of people’s initials, but vulgar words and pictures have also been carved into the rocks.
Graffiti removal was performed by work crews and an electric grinder for the deepest carvings. The rocks are a little different color after the removal process, Tucker said, but after three or four rainstorms, it looks quite natural.
And it’s not just the aesthetic problem that garbage in a beautiful setting like Sand Hollow creates, Tucker said, it’s also a safety issue with broken glass that can cut visitors’ feet and is hard to clean up.
“People are wanting to come here and enjoy (the park), and I want everyone to enjoy it,” Tucker said.
Tucker hopes more extensive closures won’t be needed, and that the community will embrace the idea of taking good care of the park.
“We encourage people to take out what they brought in,” Tucker said, “the ‘leave no trace’ idea.”
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