KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Graffiti is on the rise inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park according to Save Our Smokies. To help remove the graffiti, the non-profit is raising money to buy equipment to support removal efforts inside the park.
Save Our Smokies currently has an agreement with the United States Forest Service to remove graffiti in Pisgah National Forest. Beginning in the spring, the nonprofit will start training with GSMNP personnel on graffiti removal while working to remove graffiti from parking areas, overlooks and rock walls.
“It’s very frustrating to see it continuing to grow. It’s even to the point we see people out there doing the graffiti even as we’re doing cleanups,” said Jerry Willis, President and Founder of Save Our Smokies. He also stresses that people need to recognize that graffiti inside the park, like carving your name into a fence, is not allowed.
To remove the graffiti, a chemical product, called Elephant Snot, is brushed onto the graffiti and then pressure washed off. Save Our Smokies hopes to raise enough money to buy a pressure washer trailer that includes 100ft of hose and 150-200 gal water tank minimum. Willis hopes that they can buy it before the spring so that when training begins they can hit the ground running.
To donate to the fundraiser, visit Save Our Smokies’ Facebook page. All of the money donated will go to buying equipment. The group will also be doing a park-wide cleanup on April 23.