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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 1:52 am | Fair 50º


Besides Tricky Graffiti, Lizard’s Mouth Cleanup Deemed a Success

Volunteers convened at Lizard’s Mouth to participate in a cleanup. To see more photos, click here. Click to view larger
Volunteers convened at Lizard’s Mouth to participate in a cleanup. To see more photos, click here. (Robert Bernstein / Noozhawk photo)

On Sept. 13, 2015, a diverse group of Sierra Club members collaborated to remove waste at Lizard's Mouth.

Eleven people attended the cleanup, including two students from the San Marcos High School Earth Club. It was a hot day, which made the commitment even more impressive.

Because we were divided into three groups I did not have a chance to weigh our total take at the end as in past years. Thanks to rock climbers and the Forest Service that now do cleanups, it seemed as if there was less trash than in the past.

In some past years we had seen bright paint ball pellets that look like little berries. These poison wildlife when eaten and we were happy to see fewer of them this year.

One type of toxic trash that was still way too common: cigarette butts.

The nastiest stuff to clean up was all too much broken glass. We used little hand brooms and dust bins to get more of it up.

The volunteers were very persistent to get as much up as possible, but it is difficult to get the glass up without sweeping up a lot of dirt with it.

If people are going to get drunk up there, it would be good if they at least drank from cans.

Last year we tried in vain to use "graffiti remover" and a variety of scrubbing tools to remove the ugly paint blotches that small-minded people use to mark their territory as many other animals do.

We encountered a jolly and hard working Forest Service employee Larry Griffith as we were leaving. He has also tried a variety of methods to remove the paint.

It seems that only mechanical methods like grinding or sand blasting are effective.He said that whatever they do, someone complains.

I said that I personally supported any method that is not overly toxic in a lasting way. If the paint is removed, there is no reward for making the markings and it eventually stops.

He has taken another tactic on a water tank along West Camino Cielo: he paints colorful scenes that don't give them a "blank canvas" to mark on. You can see him with that tank in the final photo!

Griffith is planning another cleanup at Lizard's Mouth fairly soon.

Robert Bernstein, a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor, is a member of the Sierra Club Santa Barbara Group executive committee. The opinions expressed are his own.


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