Joshua Tree's Barker Dam Graffiti Gets Cleaned Up

Barker Dam -- located in the central part of Joshua Tree National Park -- was originally constructed in 1902. The dam was essential to ranchers and homesteaders settling the area. Seeing as the desert is without natural springs, the dam's water levels were a matter of life and death for these people. Barker Dam's historic significance landed it on the National Register of Historic Places since.

The modest 1.5-mile loop to the dam made it one of the more popular hiking destinations in Joshua Tree. However, in February of 2013, the trail was closed to visitors. Why? Graffiti artists spoiled the fun.

Lowering water levels from California's drought exposed parts of the dam walls, and graffiti soon covered nearly 50% of the walls. It was not only tough on the eyes, but also caused physical damage to the concrete holding the dam together. Luckily, some conservationists perfected a method to remove the graffiti and restore the dam to its former glory. I'll let them go into more detail:

Visitors can once again visit the dam. And if you make the hike and notice someone scrawling their name on the dam, you have my permission to give them what-for.


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