Photo courtesy Rick LoBello
The rocky, rugged, sun-bathed and wind-battered “Ron Coleman Trail” has fallen victim to taggers and now a coalition of groups looks to clean up the man-made mess.
The Frontera Land Alliance, the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, the employees of the Franklin Mountains State Park (FMSP), the City of El Paso’s Graffiti Removal Department and several local conservation groups have organized to remove all graffiti from the Ron Coleman Trail.
The trail-wide clean up is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2019.
FMSP Superintendent Cesar Mendez has noted that “Graffiti on our trails is an ongoing and extensive problem, very difficult to keep up with. We do not have the manpower or resources to fully tackle this problem and remove everything.”
Via a news release, officials added, “We’re being supported in our efforts by UTEP’s Project Move Day as well as many members of the community at large.
The two ends of the Ron Coleman are the most challenging and problematic parts of the trail, thanks to their relatively easy access by ‘taggers.’
“But sadly we’ve been seeing graffiti in other areas of the park as well. We’ve assigned more park staff to patrolling after hours so we can deter this illegal activity,” he said.
Mendez is also asking hikers and visitors who see any suspicious activity in the park to “please let us know right away so we can send in our rangers.”
The Franklins are home to over a hundred miles of scenic desert trails. One of them is the Ron Coleman Trail.
The “Ron Coleman” (named for El Paso’s then-State Representative who convinced the Legislature to purchase the State Park property for over $25 million in 1979) is widely considered the centerpiece of the Franklins, stretching between two canyons along the ridgeline.