On October 30 and 31, Save Mount Diablo helped organize a massive volunteer cleanup effort in the Castle Rocks area of Pine Canyon.
Together with Mount Diablo State Park, the East Bay Regional Park District, the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, and the Bay Area Climbers Coalition, volunteers worked to remove many buckets and bags filled with trash, especially shards of glass that filled the sand pits surrounding the bases of the Castle Rocks. Birds such as peregrine falcons and eagles rely on sand to fill their crops and aid in digestion, so having clean sand here is especially important.
A specialized group of climbing volunteers focused their efforts on removing and replacing bolts on highly traveled climbing routes on the Rock of Ages, Pagoda Rock, the Pulpit, and Flintstone Rock. They retrofitted old expansion bolts with much stronger glue-in hardware, making these routes safer with better protection.
Another specialized group of volunteers focused their efforts on graffiti removal on Castle Rock itself. Together, the team successfully hauled 65 gallons of water up to the rocks and utilized an amazing graffiti removal compound known as “Elephant Snot” (a biodegradable product designed to work on porous rock), fire suppression backpacks filled with water, and battery-powered pressure washers to soak and safely remove graffiti, which was beginning to fill up the caves and cover the beautiful towers on Castle Rock.
This amazing teamwork from passionate volunteers who love the area was incredible. Through collaborative restoration efforts like these, our beloved open spaces are able to thrive, as are our communities.
Not only is Pine Canyon a safer place for recreation as a result of hardworking volunteers, it’s now safer for animals who live in the area as a result of removing broken glass. And by removing graffiti from the rocks, these towers will continue to inspire people who venture into the canyon and gaze upon their exquisite natural beauty.
This post was written by Sean Burke.