While it might sound like a combination out of fantasyland – Elephant Snot and Dinosaur Rock – these are the main ingredients for an upcoming coalition-driven cleanup of one of Lebanon County’s unique geological features.
Dinosaur Rock is a diabase formation on State Game Lands 145, an outcrop of molten rock that jetted into Triassic sedimentary rocks some 200 million years ago and remained in place while the rest of the formation melted away, leaving the unique feature standing at its peak 15 feet above the forest floor. The rock gets its name from the dinosaurian profile, which can be viewed along its north-south exposures.
What can also be viewed today – graffiti, and lots of it. Although a hike from the Horseshoe Trail to Dinosaur Rock has 4 of 5 stars on AllTrails, the comments are littered with references to the tags currently on the rocks:
Graffiti at Dino rocks is like a subway car in the hood. Not worth the time to see this forested vandalism
The rock itself is like a playground to a kid. it’s huge and colorful with graffiti. If you are concerned with kiddos repeating bad language, skip it.
Campbelltown resident Pat Krebs noticed the defacements and began putting together a plan to take care of it.
“How do you start something like this? You walk in and go to see it, and you say, ‘Oh my goodness, this is not what I saw years ago,'” said Krebs.
Krebs began her inquiries into a solution with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said Courtney Reimann, executive director of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy. Krebs connected with the commission’s local land manager through state Rep. Frank Ryan’s office.
“She’s sort of a community organizer and she saw this situation and didn’t like it, and started making phone calls,” said Reimann.
“If I hadn’t been able to find the Conservancy willing to take on this project, it couldn’t happen,” said Krebs.
The game commission doesn’t have the resources itself to address the graffiti, but they were able to provide the official clearance necessary to hold a cleanup event, as well as the aforementioned “Elephant Snot,” a proprietary solution for removing graffiti from porous surfaces. The formula is super effective for removing graffiti and retails for about $100 per gallon.
It takes a village, though, and Reimann and Krebs have organized a true coalition to help them with the June 11 cleanup event, which will run from about 9:30/10 a.m. until the work is done.
The Palmyra Lowe’s will be sending out a team of volunteers, with Lowe’s employee J.V. Bennet serving as site coordinator. Lowe’s will also be donating other supplies needed for the cleanup effort, including brushes, gloves, and buckets.
Local climbers will also be assisting in the effort, and helping specifically to safely clean the elevated portions of the diabase formation. The South Central Pennsylvania Climbers and the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance of Climbers are among those who have been in contact with organizers.
In total, Reimann expects to have at least 20 volunteers on site for the cleanup, although she notes that it will be a busy weekend in Lebanon County, with Spinstock, Old Annville Day, and Tour de Lebanon Valley all scheduled for June 11.
Also involved are the Campbelltown Community Alliance and the South Londonderry Township Historical Society.
Reimann said it’s been truly a team effort to organize the event. “All of these groups, these organizations in Lebanon, who just want to improve the county,” she said of the scope in participants.
Even the county commissioners have contributed to the effort by directing $1,350 in hotel tax funds for the cleanup campaign. Those funds will be used to underwrite the Lawn Fire Company in running water out to the site for the event.
Clarence Schock Memorial Park executive director Audrey Wells will also be helping to provide volunteers and storage space for the tools and the Elephant Snot prior to the event.
Pizza 322 will be donating five pies for the event.
“So many people are thrilled that we’re going to try this,” said Krebs.
For more information, contact the Lebanon Valley Conservancy by email at email@example.com or by calling (717) 273- 6400.
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