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Spotlight: Volunteers scour Bake Oven Knob graffiti

he Pennsylvania Game Commission partnered with the Haycock Bouldering Coalition and other Appalachian Trail hiking organizations June 26 to host a cleanup at Bake Oven Knob.

They saw volunteers coming and going throughout the morning as they worked cleaning up trash and removing graffiti.

“We’re trying to turn the tide with the growing problem of graffiti.

“Everyone walks past it and everyone wants to try to clean it up, but they don’t know where to start,” said Tim Quick, founder of the Haycock Bouldering Coalition.

The graffiti removal process involved volunteers first applying Elephant Snot - a biodegradable paint remover made specifically for removing graffiti from rocks - onto the graffiti. Once the Elephant Snot was applied, volunteers needed to wait about 40 minutes before scrubbing the rocks.

The final step to this process was rinsing the Elephant Snot off the rocks and watching the graffiti melt away.

The cleanup was aided by the Lehigh County Forest Fire Task Force, which supplied more than 5,000 gallons of water and used its truck hoses to rinse away most of the graffiti on the Knob.

This was a big help as the pressure from the hoses assisted in removing the graffiti, and it removed the need for hauling water from the parking lot up to the Knob.

The Haycock Bouldering Coalition is planning another cleanup event at Haycock Mountain, Bucks County, and Quick would like to expand these cleanups to other locations in the area.

“This turnout has been exponentially bigger than what we saw last year, which is great,” Quick said.

“Now each year it’s going to get bigger and bigger, and this (graffiti) should become a thing of the past.”

Haycock Bouldering Coalition founder Tim Quick applies Elephant Snot to graffiti at Bake Oven Knob. PRESS PHOTOS BY DALTON MILLER
Graffiti begins to come off a rock after being covered with Elephant Snot for only 10 minutes.
Tim Quick scrubs a rock, making the graffiti unrecognizable.
Volunteers apply Elephant Snot onto rocks at Bake Oven Knob to remove the graffiti.
A rock covered in Elephant Snot glistens in the sun.
Tim Quick scrubs at a second layer of graffiti that was revealed after rinsing off the top layer.