Here’s how Helen Hunt Falls normally looks . . .
But lately, its received a paint job it didn’t need.
Others call it graffiti.
In this case, it appears to be the work of gangbangers.
Spray paint mars the signs, rocks along the trail, timbers and around the falls itself.
It’s an ugly stain on North Cheyenne Canon Park and the falls.
And it is disturbing to folks who live nearby and those who travel from all over Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region to hike the canyon.
It bothers them to think they are at risk of encountering Surenos or Chihuahuas or Maderas or Prospect Lake Barrio or Blythe Street X3 gang members when they walk, run or bike the canyon and its popular trails.
But the signs are unmistakable.
After a couple quiet years of relatively little graffiti, city parks maintenance supervisor Tim Pluemer reports an ugly bloom of the vandalism is underway.
He says it is a chronic problem at the three city skate parks.
And it is spreading to neighborhood parks from Briargate to the Broadmoor area.
No park, it seems is immune.
And it’s a shame that when budgets are so tight, the one member of the parks maintenance staff has devote two days a week simply to scrubbing away the often profane rants and taggings by graffiti vandals.