Colorado Springs open space ‘permanently damaged’ by vandals


Permanent damage was caused after vandals spray-painted the word “love” on fragile sandstone rocks near the historic Kenmuir Quarry at Red Rock Canyon Open Space.

“We are thrilled that people want to spread the love, but spraying fragile sandstone rocks with paint is quite the opposite,” Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services said following the discovery of the graffiti earlier this March. 

Leave No Trace Tuesday – Leave What You Find We are thrilled that people want to spread the love, but spraying fragile…

Posted by Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The vandalism is believed to have taken place sometime between March 10 and March 17. 


Ancient Garden of the Gods formation tagged

Site for proposed Sand Creek Memorial getting pushback

Get the latest Gazette update by signing up for our newsletters

Officials say the historic Kenmuir Quarry will be left permanently damaged as crews work to carefully remove the graffiti. 

“It is important to practice Leave No Trace when you visit a park or open space,” Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services added. “Marking on the rocks covers up their natural beauty, introduces toxins into the ecosystem, and prevents other park visitors from enjoying the space.”

Colorado is no stranger to graffiti vandals. Several other spots in Colorado have made headlines after being tagged, including the Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Garden of the Gods and Rainbow Falls.  

In July of 2019, a Denver man was sentenced to two months in jail and fined more than $4,000 for tagging several rocks along the iconic Hanging Lake Trail near Glenwood Springs.

Red Rocks Canyon Open Space is situated between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. The 1,474-acre park features 11 marked trails ranging in elevations from 6,141 to 6,866 feet above sea level.

Depending on the circumstances, the charges for vandalism and criminal mischief can vary. 

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, “if someone continually tags city buildings/property to a point where clean-up costs exceed a certain amount, the criminal charge is upped to a felony.”

The threshold from a misdemeanor to a felony is when costs exceed $1,000. After that, charges are increased.