Graffiti is an ancient and enduring form of self-expression. Self-expression is a vital human need! People have always needed space to be themselves! While we honor that tradition, Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is an inappropriate venue, at least for paint, chalk or other substances on the surface of the rock.
A Heritage Preserve is dedicated to protecting natural resources and graffiti is incompatible with that purpose. It is not possible to protect and preserve natural resources with paint covering the surface and crevices of the rock. Runoff from rains continues to slowly leech paint chemicals into the two precious headland streams, contaminating the water source, and jeopardizing the habitats of rare and endangered plants and animals.
By removing the graffiti and enforcing existing SCDNR laws banning litter, fires, fireworks, use of drugs and alcohol, and camping, we begin a restoration process to clean the water and rebuild habitats. A restored, naturally beautiful Bald Rock Heritage Preserve will continue to inspire, console, and embrace future generations of visitors with its stunning natural resources.
How will Friends of Bald Rock prevent graffiti in the future?
Well, we can’t. A lot of things need to happen for the rock to be naturally beautiful and graffiti-free. SCDNR needs to redesign the parking lot, entrance, access, security and enforcement for the Preserve. They may need additional staff and resources. There are existing laws that render all of the current vandalism illegal and subject to fines, and possible jail time. Those laws have not been adequately posted or enforced in the past. The public has been unaware that they were in a Heritage Preserve and what that meant.
SCDNR is currently developing a master plan to address all of these vulnerabilities. Friends of Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is part of that process. We will assist and support SCDNR’s efforts to reclaim the “protect and preserve” part of their commitment to the public. We will do everything we can to facilitate that process. This may involve writing grants to fund part of the restoration, recruiting experts to advise the process, holding fundraisers, etc. The more members we have, the more successful the solution will be. We hope you will be with us on this journey. The Preserve is public land, managed by SCDNR. We all have an obligation to protect, preserve, and cherish it for our children and theirs.