Granite Point cleanup day successful

Students, faculty pick up trash from nature area following closure


Courtesy of Lisa Routhier

Students and faculty from WSU and the University of Idaho pick up items such as glass and plastic at Granite Point, also known as the cliffs, on May 10. The park reopened the day after the cleanup.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen news editor

Students from WSU and University of Idaho picked up litter at Granite Point, also known as the cliffs, on May 10.

The Army Corps of Engineers closed the area on May 2 following a day of heavy traffic that left the popular destination rife with graffiti and trash, including broken glass and beer cans. A day after the cleanup efforts, the Corps reopened Granite Point.

ASWSU President Savannah Rogers said the student-led cleanup was the right move following the partying that led to the site’s closure.

“I see it as our duty to do this,” she said. “We are WSU students and we are Cougs and it’s one of those things where it’s so disappointing that Cougs did this, but at the same time it’d be even more disappointing if Cougs didn’t try to make it right.”

Students from the two colleges who participated in the cleanup, which Park Ranger Lisa Routhier estimated at about 30, came prepared to clean up the mess left behind.

“It was absolutely perfect,” Routhier said. “Everybody came in high spirits and a great mood willing to help out and everybody did an absolutely fabulous job. There was laughter and fun and everyone was getting along.”

Routhier also said most students brought their own equipment to the cleanup, while the Corps provided garbage bags and a dumpster and WSU University Recreation brought gloves and safety vests.

Routhier said faculty members from WSU began reaching out to the Corps soon after news of the site’s closure broke in an effort to set up a cleaning day.

By the time the students made it to Granite Point to cleanup, most of the larger items had been picked up by Corps officials. But small shards of glass still needed to be tended to as they posed a danger to those visiting the area, such as climbers and small children, Rogers said.

While students may have helped fix the problem left behind this time, Rogers does not expect the problem to go away entirely.

“I think its’s very optimistic to think that an issue like this won’t happen again,” Rogers said. “While this may never happen with WSU students who were there, there’s a new crop of students every four years where it is complete turnover at WSU.”

Students may have cleaned up the mess left behind, but the damage done by the partying may lead to changes at Granite Point.

“We’re working on an alcohol ban but that hasn’t gone in to effect,” she said. “We are still trying to draw that up.”