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Kings Bluff Graffiti Removal Project
Kings Bluff Graffiti Removal Project

Kings Bluff is one of the SCC’s oldest owned crags. Located in Clarksville, TN, on the Cumberland River, Kings Bluff has some of the best views around. The area has historically been visited by locals who have trashed the area. Because of the ease of access to lake swimming, teenagers and adults alike swarm the area on hot summer days, some of them respecting the natural beauty, others leaving a permanent mark.

Thanks to a generous grant from the American Alpine Club, the SCC was ready to tackle some of the destruction at Kings Bluff! Thanks to a team of local climbers, we were able to clean most of the graffiti that littered the area. We also cleaned up the kiosk and changed the signage that had been destroyed by graffiti.

In an attempt to limit the amount of traffic, the SCC has installed a combo lock on the gate at the entrance. The lock has had minimal success, but has failed when people don’t close the gate behind them after entering. The local community is working hard to monitor the area, especially as the hot summer days approach. We have also installed new signage in hopes that people will be more respectful of the land.

A big thanks to this group of volunteers for coming out for this trail day and for their year round dedication to this crag.

Read More...   ( Views: 46 ) Posted by cody_roney on Thur, May 26
Sand Rock Earth Day Trail Day
Sand Rock Graffiti Removal Trail Day- April 23, 2016

The SCC teamed up with Cherokee Rock Village to host the second graffiti removal trail day! For over 20 years the historic and beloved Alabama crag has been littered with trash and graffiti. The SCC has worked for years to keep the area clean to no avail. Finally, the County decided to do something about it and turned the area into a community park. Sand Rock’s name has since changed to Cherokee Rock Village and now hosts a pavilion, bathrooms and a playground, but for climbers Sand Rock will always be the roadside Alabama crag.

Cherokee Rock Village park board has been working with the SCC for a few years to clean the area up. In 2015 the SCC found a graffiti removal product called Elephant Snot that works GREAT! The SCC quickly applied for a Cornerstone Conservation Grant from the American Alpine Club to help fund the graffiti removal projects and got to work! Thanks to the generous grant from the AAC, we were able to purchase enough elephant snot to completely clean the graffiti at Sand Rock and many other areas around the Southeast!

The first graffiti removal trail day took place in October 2015. We worked alongside the Access Fund Conservation Team and over 20 volunteers to erase as much graffiti as we could, but still didn’t get it all. You can watch a timelapse of the disappearing graffiti here: https://www.facebook.com/ConservationTeam/videos/796687960441660/.

Over 25 volunteers came out, including the Chattanooga Christian School and Auburn University climbing teams, and set to work! Half the volunteers worked to erase graffiti and the other half set out to spread mulch, work on erosion on some of the popular trails and do trash pick-up. We worked harder and longer than most trail days require to finish the job, but we are proud to announce we erased all the graffiti we could find at the park!! This is a huge feat for an area like Sand Rock that most people wrote off years ago as a lost cause. The park is in better shape than it’s ever been thanks to the countless hours of volunteer work over the past decade!

After the trail day the SCC hosted a cookout in the pavilion. We did a big raffle, grilled burgers and dogs, and mingled with Cherokee Rock Village Board members. Mrs. Leann Hill, climbing advocate and board member, presented the SCC with a “Key to Sand Rock” as a thank you for our hard work.

Read More...   ( Views: 93 ) Posted by cody_roney on Sat, May 14
Foster Falls Spring 2016 Trail Day
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Before and After of Jimmywood area
On May 14th, the SCC, Access Fund, South Cumberland State Park, and Solid Rock – Climbers for Christ teamed up for a trail day at Foster Falls. Ranger John Ball and Chip and Lindsey from the Access Fund Conservation Team worked with over 20 volunteers on seven hours hard at work on two sections of trail. Group one spent their time fixing up a heavily eroded portion of trail near Climbers’ Access 2. The ground was leveled out and large stones strategically placed to build the foundation for a natural staircase. There is more work to be done on this section, but the foundation has now been laid.

Group two focused on the heavily trafficked wall, Jimmywood. They cut up the downed tree that had been blocking the trail for years, then smoothed out the trail and portion of ground right at the base of the cliff, thus creating two separate areas: one for belayers and climbers, and one for the through traffic. Creating a belay ‘station’ will help eliminate the sprawl of climbers and their gear. Sprawl is a huge factor in erosion at heavily populated areas. We look forward to creating more of these areas at other popular Foster Falls climbing spots.

After finishing up for the day, Solid Rock – Climbers for Christ cooked up some burgers and hotdogs for everyone, while the SCC held a raffle… everybody got a prize! Most of the participants indicated that they would like to continue the work at Fosters, so hopefully many more trail days take place in the upcoming months.

BIG thanks to all the volunteers that came out. This trail day required a lot of HARD work and we couldn’t have finished what we did without you! br>
Written by: Jonathan Parker Pictures: Elizabeth and Chris Barton

Read More...   ( Views: 112 ) Posted by cody_roney on Thur, Jun 02
Graffiti removal efforts giving new life to some of the South's most popula
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Before and After of Jimmywood area
Graffiti has been a problem at some of the South's most popular climbing areas for many years. Volunteers have tried many different methods of removal, from painting over the graffiti to attempting to clean it off with chemicals. The chemicals didn't seem to work and painting over the graffiti was very time consuming and not effective for large scale projects. The graffiti removal efforts were put on hold for years, until recently when we decided to start researching products for graffiti.

In 2015, SCC Executive Director, Cody Roney, went on a search to find a product that would work on the South's unique sandstone. After consulting with the Access Fund and other coalitions, a product called Elephant Snot seemed to be the best method. After conducting a few tests and seeing amazing results, we were determined to move forward with this exciting (and massive) project! With the help of a Cornerstone Conservation grant from The American Alpine Club and REI, the SCC quickly purchased graffiti removal supplies and got to work! We decided to focus our initial efforts at Hospital Boulders, Kings Bluff, and Sand Rock (now known as Cherokee Rock Village).

The Elephant Snot has produced incredible results at all three areas! The process is long and laborious, so it has taken at least 2 trail days/area...and we still aren't finished!

The SCC is working with other popular climbing destinations to get rid of the large amounts of graffiti. These areas include Moss Rock Preserve in Birmingham, AL, Currahee Mountain in Toccoa, GA, Signal Point in Signal Mountain, TN and others. Our hope is to see these graffiti removal efforts preserve our climbing areas by bringing them back to their natural state of beauty.

Check out this video created by the Access Fund Conservation Team from our first graffiti removal trail day at Cherokee Rock Village: Sand Rock Graffiti Removal Video

You can find more pictures on our Facebook page.

Read More...   ( Views: 166 ) Posted by cody_roney on Tues, May 17
Climbing Stewardship Initiative comes to Birmingham region
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Photo: Tim Foote
Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that protects America’s climbing, and Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) are excited to launch a three-year stewardship initiative to improve rock climbing areas in the greater Birmingham, Alabama region. Named The Greater Birmingham Climbing Resource Improvement Project, the initiative will target four climbing areas in the region: Moss Rock Preserve, Trussville Boulders, Palisades Park, and Steele.

Climbing sites in the greater Birmingham area are some of the most popular and historic in the southeastern region. Since at least the 1970s, the area’s many sandstone cliffs and boulders have attracted visiting climbers, including famous climbers like John Gill, Robyn Erbesfield and Jimmy Webb. However, increased use has led to deteriorating conditions at many areas, including extensive graffiti and trash issues at Moss Rock. Similarly, infrastructure improvements at Steele, Palisades Park, and Trussville Boulders will mitigate erosion issues and attract more sustainable use from the climbing community.

“Birmingham is a hub for climbers living in the Deep South, and a destination for traveling climbers who bring out-of-state money in to strengthen the local economies. This project will help address unsustainable conditions at both popular and little-known climbing areas, ensuring these special resources can continue to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike,” says Access Fund Southeast Regional Director, Zachary Lesch-Huie.

Over the next three years, the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team will lead stewardship initiatives at all four climbing sites, working closely with SCC, local climbers, and volunteers. The Conservation Team is an Access Fund program, sponsored by Jeep, that puts two teams of conservation specialists on the road each year to work with land managers and local climbing organizations across the country to build more sustainable climbing areas. Both Conservation Teams will take part in this multi-year stewardship initiative.

“Protecting access to climbing areas is core to SCC’s work, but long-term stewardship is equally important. We are so excited to work with Access Fund’s Conservation Team to improve Birmingham climbing areas, and set the highest standard possible for climbing stewardship,” Cody Roney, SCC Executive Director.
Work will kick off later this month with the City of Hoover at Moss Rock Preserve, where the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team will spend several weeks leading volunteer groups to remove extensive graffiti, develop trails and infrastructure to dramatically decrease erosion and support increased climber traffic. The Conservation Team will also working at the project’s three other sites, with the City of Trussville on bouldering area plans, and further north at Steele and Palisades to rehab trails and impacts from erosion.

“By addressing these infrastructure issues, we hope to bring these top-notch climbing areas back into the national consciousness of climbers, and at the same time strengthen the local economy,” says Access Fund Stewardship Director Ty Tyler.
This initiative is made possible by a considerable grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and support from SCC and other local partners who recognize the economic benefits that climbers are having on other rural communities in the southeast, in addition to the need to make the region’s outstanding climbing and outdoor recreational resources accessible and sustainable.

Gus Heard-Hughes, Senior Program Officer for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham says: “We are excited to partner with the Access Fund and SCC to improve, protect and promote the wonderful climbing resources we have in the Greater Birmingham area. We have been impressed with the quality of these partners’ work and their commitment to collaborating with local volunteers. The four sites are special in their natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation, and efforts to preserve them for all are so important.”
The SCC is thrilled to partner with local climbers and members of the broader Birmingham community to restore the beauty and sustainability of these incredible recreational resources.

Read More...   ( Views: 365 ) Posted by cody_roney on Tues, May 17
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