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McKelligon Canyon destroyed by litter and graffiti

By: Chrisdyann Uribe

EL PASO, TexasMcKelligon Canyon has graffiti spread across the caves and glass and trash littered across the trails.

Hikers are greeted by broken glass bottles, cigarettes and trash on the trails. There is graffiti all along the trails as many make their way up the mountain.

Its a problem which continues to grow and has become overbearing for park rangers.

Well have people tag, well have people litter and its become kind of a bigger issue over the past couple of years as more and more folks are coming out to the park, said Adrianna Weickhardt, a Texas Park and Wildlife ranger.

The caves have huge graffiti words spread across the entrance, which can be an eyesore for visitors.

I dont like the fact that there is so much graffiti. Every time I come up here, there are more additions to it and its really upsetting. I would think people would have more respect for nature, said Siria Cruz, a local hiker.

Seeing graffiti isnt the only issue; hikers are worried about getting hurt on the trails.

It certainly worries me, especially if I bring the dogs or even worse kids and they fall down and cut their hand. Lord only knows whats on the glass or what that person is exposed to, said Mike Lara, a site visitor.

Texas Parks and Wildlife rangers have planned on arranging days where volunteers can come and assist with removing graffiti and picking up trash. There is no equipment needed; all you have to do is show up.

What we like to do is arrange volunteer days. We have all the supplies so people dont have to bring anything with them except for gloves and a good attitude, Weickhardt said.

Many El Pasoans are already excited about the idea.

I think thats a good initiative. Well get a group of people. Well have us all bring trash bags up here and just fill them up, and little by little, we can help clean up the place, Cruz said.

To find out when you can help, go to the official Texas Parks and Wildlife website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/ or call 915-566-6441.