COLORADO — You might see the organization, Keeping Colorado Beautiful, around town scrubbing away at graffiti. The non-profit, based in Colorado Springs, is working to preserve and restore Colorado’s rock formations back to their natural beauty by removing graffiti.
“I want to be able to climb, hike and enjoy the beauty that is Colorado without it being tainted,” Co-Founder of Keeping Colorado Beautiful Stephen Singer said.
The idea for the organization started on a hike one day. And from there, the idea snowballed.
“Somebody had tagged up balanced rock formation, which is up near Rampart Range, and it was the first time I had ever seen it tagged. I just decided to start to take action. And I got out there the next weekend and managed to restore that particular rock formation,” he said.
Since then they’ve worked on several clean ups at different locations around the Front Range. That includes a multi-phase project cleaning years worth of graffiti on Gold Camp Road.
“On Gold Camp Road at Point Sublime, we spent two days rigging ropes and belaying because it’s all so high up on the cliff,” he added. “We’ve done some restoration up on Gold Stage Road. We’ve worked down Rampart Range and up Mount Herman Road.”
They use a cleaning solvent that doesn’t harm the rocks. It’s environmentally friendly, water-soluble, and non-flammable. Singer says their main technique is for the Front Range granite, which is a sturdy rock. They use a pressure washer with a turbo nozzle that puts a lot of pressure without hurting the rocks.
“And we are 100 percent donation funded. Donations go to upgrading equipment, upkeep on equipment, getting the solvent, fuel for getting out there and doing the job,” Singer said.
The organization recently partnered with the Care for Colorado Coalition. Singer said he hopes the organization’s impact reaches much farther than the Front Range.
“The long-term goal is to be able to start functioning state-wide and get volunteer pools from various regions.” He adds, “Jefferson County Parks and Open Space. Durango Parks and Open Space. Those are two locations I’ve been informed have graffiti issues.”
Keeping Colorado Beautiful hears about graffiti mainly through word of mouth, unless they find it themselves first. If you see graffiti at natural areas, parks or open spaces around town, let the organization know so they can get out to clean it up. You can give them a shout on Facebook or their website.
“If you have the ability to take action, you have the responsibility to take action,” said Singer.