All are welcome volunteer and join the Forest Service Heritage staff to help remove graffiti from the concrete remains of the St. Francis Dam and restore the site to its pre-vandalized condition on March 3 and 4.
The St. Francis Dam currently sits in ruins, a mangled and twisted monument to the memory of the hundreds of lives lost in the worst American civil engineering disaster of the 20th century and the second greatest loss of life in California’s history. Within the years that have followed this tragedy, the St. Francis Dam has become a federally protected archaeological site, a State Historic Landmark, a Heritage Priority Asset, a property eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and the potential recipient of a new memorial and monument designation. Despite these significant milestones, the Saint Francis Dam has also been subjected to years of vandalism, much of which consists of vulgar and racist graffiti. Not only has this vandalism defaced what is left of the historic dam but has also degraded the natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Volunteers are called to help in the removal process of this graffiti. Each morning volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. in a large turnout on the east side of San Francisquito Canyon Road, approximately 1.5 miles north of Power Plant No.2 (see link below for more detailed directions). More detailed directions [here].
To reach the location of the dam we will walk approximately .4 miles along a decommissioned paved road until reaching the site. The concrete dam remains and location of the graffiti is just a short hike down a moderately steep hill to the east of the paved road. We will take an afternoon break for lunch around 12:00 PM and take any additional breaks as needed. Project cleanup will start each day at 4:00 PM and we will hopefully be back to our cars by 4:30 PM.
Durable and comfortable clothing suited for outdoor work is REQUIRED. Due to the potential for sunburn and vegetation/wildlife concerns, long pants and long-sleeved shirts are highly recommended. Hats, preferably with wide brims are recommended for protection from the sun. Baseball-style caps may be acceptable for some but will likely require liberal use of sunscreen. Durable closed-toe shoes with ankle support are highly recommended, as some of the graffiti locations will require climbing over large slabs of crumbling and uneven concrete surfaces. Sunscreen, chapstick, bandanas and sunglasses are also useful. During the month of October the weather can still be very warm and dry so plan accordingly. *PLEASE BRING a lunch, snacks, and any water you may require throughout the day. *There are no developed facilities in or near the project area. This includes bathrooms and running water, so be prepared to use the beautiful surrounding landscape as your bathroom with a view. And don’t forget the toilet paper!
A backpack capable of holding lunches, water bottles, and other personal gear is recommended. The Forest Service will provide all graffiti removal supplies and safety gear.
There will be a safety orientation each morning before walking to the site, including a Job Hazard Analysis form which describes the hazards of the project. All volunteers will read and sign the form as well as a Volunteer Agreement. The project leader will carry, at all times, a Forest Service radio capable of reaching dispatch services in the event of an emergency since cell phone service is not reliable within the canyon. General safety concerns of any outdoor wilderness environment include: uneven or rugged surfaces, changing weather conditions, poisonous plants such as poison oak, nettles, and poodle-dog bush, wildlife (snakes, lizards, tics, etc.), and vegetation.
As previously mentioned, many of the areas where we will be conducting graffiti removal are difficult to reach and will require climbing over uneven and crumbling concrete surfaces. It is of the utmost importance that those participating understand that this will require individuals to not only climb over these rough surfaces but also to transport supplies to these locations. Some of the graffiti removal locations will also require the use of a ladder.
For additional questions regarding project activities or to have your name added to the volunteer list please contact Thalia Ryder at (626) 574-5270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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