ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — The National Park Service is reminding visitors that while it’s human nature to want to leave your mark, doing so in a National Park is vandalism and not art.
Zion National Park posted a photo of some recent vandalism on Facebook Sunday, saying they love artistic expression and have a whole program devoted to allowing artists to live and/or work within the park.
“But this photo is not an example of that [art],” the park stated. “Because, as important as artistic expression is, we do not want to deface the natural resources of our beautiful public lands. No matter how small or superficially drawn, graffiti in the park is vandalism. Yes, leaving a mark is in our nature. Humans have been leaving their marks on rock walls for thousands of years in this region. But these days, writing on the walls isn’t necessary, and in a national park, it’s illegal.”
The NPS notes that graffitti is a growing problem in many national parks, and removing such vandalism takes time, care and money. And, no matter how carefully the area is cleaned, they say the rocks or other natural features will never be the same after being vandalized.
The park encourages visitors to remember the National Parks mission to “preserve unimpaired” the natural and cultural resources the parks protect.
“Make memories, take photos, and remember to leave no trace,” the statement from Zion National Park concludes.