Hikers express concern about vandalism, garbage in Dishman Hills Natural Area

Hikers express concern about vandalism, garbage in Dishman Hills Natural Area

The Dishman Hills Natural Area is a popular spot for local hikers or dog-walkers looking for a place to get outside.

It’s also a popular spot for vandals. A hiker reached out to KXLY to share concern about how the natural area was being treated after spotting a new batch of spray-painted tags on the rocks and piles or garbage on the signs.

County Ranger Bryant Robinson told KXLY on the phone Sunday that vandalism and illegal camping is not new for the natural area- nor is it exclusive. Other parks in the area experience similar issues.

Robinson said vandalism will often show up on signs or objects at a trailhead, because of it’s easy open access. Some trailheads, he said, now have surveillance cameras to monitor those areas.

But several of the tags spray-painted on the rocks in the Dishman Hills are located a little ways into the trail.

He said hikers are their best resources, serving as eyes and ears on the trails. The hiker who reached out to KXLY said she knew of others who took it upon themselves to clean up some of the debris they saw but Robinson also asks that any suspicious activity be reported to Crime Check- he said it’s easier too track that way.

Jeff Lambert, the executive director of the Dishman Hills Conservancy, said his team is well aware that “more effort [is] required to provide opportunities to connect people to nature,” especially with a space as commonly used as the Dishman Hills.

He said his team is working to organize a volunteer cleanup- stay tuned for details.

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