A popular swimming spot on the Skykomish River near Eagle Falls has also become one of the dirtiest.
Looking towards the river, the spot is one of the Skykomish Valley’s most scenic spots. It’s not just one of the most popular for swimmers and sunbathers though. It's also one of the most popular for graffiti.
“This is vandalism to the highest degree that just supports more and more vandalism, which supports bad ideas and attitudes out here,” Bill Corson said.
Corson runs Outdoor Adventures, a rafting company that aims to give people a taste of the wild. This, however, feels like the taste of the inner city, but a city where even the street artists would complain.
“They have rules that wouldn’t allow this. The inner city kids that were hip hop artists wouldn’t allow this,” Corson said.
Some of the tags are so offensive, KING 5 can’t air them on television. Even more offensive for the environment, Corson says, is all the trash that’s come with it.
“It’s very offensive, and it’s very degrading for what we as a people want to be here,” he said.
Corson and others have formed a group that’s planning a clean-up next month.
“We knew if we couldn’t eliminate the graffiti at Eagle Falls,” said organizing member Christian Knight, “the vandalism would continue to spread throughout the Skykomish Valley, so that’s when we decided to do something.”
They’re trying to involve as many locals as possible to send a message as loud as these colors.
“Let’s take it back. Let’s not ruin beautiful places and let’s be stewards,” Knights said. “Teaching our kids the next generation to be stewards, to take care of something that’s so precious that doesn’t come back.”
"Eagle Falls has become an incubator for vandalism and graffiti that threatens all of the natural resources of the Skykomish Valley. If we want to protect those resources, we need to start with Eagle Falls, by transforming it into a symbol of environmental stewardship."
"Leaving no trace is how we show our respect for our natural places. To the casual observer, however, that respect can be hard to see, especially when it is obscured by the graffiti and litter of a few vandals. The Eagle Falls Graffiti Scrub is an opportunity for scores of people to demonstrate how much we care about this place and all of the inspiring places."
The event begins at 10 a.m. on August 5 at Eagle Falls, located 2.1 miles west of the town of Baring, Wash.
Volunteers are encouraged to carpool, if possible, as there is limited parking along Highway 2. Interested parties can register via www.bit.ly/eaglefalls. Forest Service staff will be present to help ensure the event is safe for both the volunteers and the local ecosystem. The grassroots event will require volunteers to bring their own lunch, water, weather appropriate clothing, and wire brushes.
"It's going to be a fun event," said Knight. "Few endeavors are more fun and more fulfilling than being a part of a group that comes together to fulfill a single purpose."