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Spray paint on rocks at popular Maple Ridge waterfall

Vandalism at Cliff Falls draws angry response online
Vandals spray painted Cliff Falls, a popular natural area of Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

Vandals with spray paint desecrated one of the most beautiful natural cathedrals in Maple Ridge, gauging from the public’s reaction.

The sandstone rocks at Cliff Falls, near the Lower Falls, were sprayed with graffiti on Thursday.

“Have some respect for our beautiful areas please,” urged Bryan Douglas Ballard, after he visited the Kanaka Creek Regional Park, looking for a place to swim.

He posted his message on the Albion Neighbours Facebook Page, where it got angry reactions from a lot of people, and was shared to more social media sites.

“This is so awful to see. What a terrible thing to do to mother nature,” said Tracy Gray.

“I did graffiti in my younger days but never would it even cross my mind to paint all over nature like this. Disgusting,” Raleigh McCarthy-Goode. “And a waste of paint with the lack of artistic ability from the looks of it, too.”

“Infuriating how some people are not taught to respect nature,” said another, as a sample of the reaction.

Ballard noted that he had passed a group of eight teens on the way into the park – six boys and two girls, and he guessed they were about Grade 8-9. The paint was still wet when he found it, and he suspected he passed right by the vandals. From the fact they weren’t driving, he speculated they lived in the area of Ferguson Avenue.

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The affection local residents have for Cliff Falls is shared by visitors. In reviews calls it “a hidden gem,” says it’s “one of our absolute favourite family all-season hikes,” and gushes about a “fantastic section of rainforest… incredible views and a beautiful waterfall.”

There were online posts noting there have been other instances of spray painting natural areas recently, at Albion Park and Jackson Farm, with trees and bushes being targets. The rocks at Hot Rocks off Fern Crescent have also been hit, and trees in Reg Franklin Park.

Ross Davies, of the Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society said this is fortunately not a common occurence in his neck of the woods.

“It’s rare in Kanaka, but it does happen,” he said. “It’s disappointing, to say the least.”

The park operator is Metro Vancouver, and spokesperson Jennifer Saltman said staff attended the site, and found that the graffiti was not visible from the main picnic area.

“It’s in an area that’s not open to the public, and it’s accessible by an unsanctioned trail,” she said, asking the public to “please stay on the trails.”

She said staff are considering the best way to remediate it, noting some of the paint is on sandstone, and in other places on mud and moss.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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