Rainbow Falls - AKA Graffiti Falls

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Real Estate Agent with Real Estate Showcase Photography


Rainbow Falls - AKA Graffiti Falls

 

Rainbow Falls flows under a historic bridge built in the 1930's connecting Manitou Springs to Highway 24 on the old Ute Indian Trail. In the 1800's, the beautiful 25 foot falls was a tour and picnic destination for visitors to Manitou Springs, and those traveling Ute Pass. 

But, for the past many years, Rainbow Falls has been a destination for graffiti mongers, and the once pristine area was littered with trash, drug paraphernalia, and empty spray paint cans.

A grass roots effort began in Manitou in 2005 to do something about the issue.  The privately owned property was donated to the county in 2009, and in April 2011, El Paso County approved funding of 350-600,000 thousand dollars in lottery proceeds to return the area to it's former splendor, and recreate a place for families to come with their children to picnic and enjoy the beauty of the falls.

I had heard of "Graffiti Falls", but hadn't been there until now. I was overwhelmed and saddened by what I saw.
 
I don't think this was intention of the name 'Rainbow Falls'.

Rainbow Falls - AKA "Graffiti Falls" Manitou Springs

 

Rainbow Falls - AKA "Graffiti Falls" Manitou Springs

 

Rainbow Falls - AKA "Graffiti Falls" Manitou Springs


The graffiti continues down the creek and along the rock walls all the way to the parking lot.

 

Our task is to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature.

- Albert Einstein


 

 

 

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Ambassador
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Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Deb,

I hope that you'll be able to go back in the near future and document a pristine environment.

Rich

May 01, 2011 01:53 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Gabe Sanders
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Debi, welcome back, we've missed your beautiful pictures.  I've seen some pretty amazing graffiti that many would consider an art form in some places.  This one doesn't appear to be that though.

May 01, 2011 08:00 AM #4
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Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

How sad is that?  Quite interesting that you posted this as I was listening to an interview (yesterday I think) with someone who was talking about urban art/graffiti.

May 01, 2011 08:44 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Debi, that bring to mind the Mark Twain quote you used in your last blog about the Sand Hill Cranes.  I look at these pictures and shake my head. 

May 01, 2011 09:26 AM #6
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Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494

How sad, I'm not sure I would want to take my family there either. What was clearly one of mother natures beauties has clearly been destroyed. All we can do is ask WHY? Though we will never get an answer.

May 01, 2011 10:04 AM #7
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Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections - Manassas, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Debi  It disgusts me when people think there is nothing more enjoyable than destroying something

May 01, 2011 03:47 PM #8
Rainmaker
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Gary Coles
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Debi,  I just saw your photo on today's blog role since I subscribe to you and the thought went through my mind: "Ho-ray, you are back! I have really missed you!!"

May 01, 2011 04:51 PM #9
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Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Hey All, thanks for the comments! It's really something to see this kind of destruction in an otherwise beautiful place. I read several comments online from people who think of this as art. I have seen graffiti in other places I thought was art - and wished they could put such talent to better use. Nothing I saw here brought the word 'art' to mind. This is a beautiful, natural environment that should be preserved as such, and I am so happy that soon it will be.

 

May 01, 2011 09:06 PM #10
Rainmaker
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John Mayer
Oikos Realty, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach Florida - Cocoa Beach, FL
Your Beach Area Expert

Debi - Those hack "artists" should be arrested and forced to clean up that mess. Why do they have to defile nature to get attention?

May 02, 2011 01:59 AM #11
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Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Wildwood, MO
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Debi,

Interesting artwork.

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

May 02, 2011 11:39 PM #12
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Paul Henderson
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
I always put my clients first in any transaction!

Hey Debi, I was just thinking of you and how I hadn't seen any of your beautiful pictures, so I look you up and there you were only two days ago.

I thought you might be out either on a shoot or possibly falling in love again. It is Spring after all… =] 

May 03, 2011 08:07 PM #13
Rainmaker
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Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

I agree John - a long term of community service is in order. Some of the names would be easy to track down at the local schools....

Yes, Ann, interesting indeed.

Paul - you make me laugh! Only your fiirst idea is on the mark - I am doing quite a bit of freelance work this days - both with photography and writing. I am loving it, but busy as heck!

May 03, 2011 08:30 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Debi, this is just absolutely senseless!  What a lack of respect for God's natural wonders and beauty.  I hope several years in the future you will be able to go back and see a totally different landscape!

May 07, 2011 08:45 PM #15
Rainmaker
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Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Wildwood, MO
SelectAnn.com

Debi,

I think that nature is beautiful in and of itself....

Bridges in the city might be a nice place to add some color?

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

May 10, 2011 11:22 PM #16
Rainmaker
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Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

 

Bruce - I hope sooner than that!

Ann- I've seen some amazing artwork on bridges in big cities - better there than defacing a place of natural beauty...

May 12, 2011 08:49 PM #17
Anonymous
Anonymous
We can help - LEED Signs can remove Graffiti.
We can remove Graffiti.
May 23, 2011 07:23 PM #18
Anonymous
Anonymous
Leed signs - 239-682-3534
We are located in Florida . But we travel Ask for Lenny or Wayne
May 23, 2011 07:26 PM #19
Anonymous
Anonymous
KS

Hello Mrs. Boucher,

I agree that the deplorable state of graffiti falls is maddening but for a different reason than your own. I'm from out of town, and when I visited manitou, I heard a rumor of a place that was a tagger's paradise, which of course I immediately tried to find. When I got there I was shocked at the terrible graffiti and started questioning what sort of respectable graffiti artist would put something like this up. So as I got more integrated into the local community I found out that the majority of the artwork is not done by hardcore taggers but by juveniles just trying something new. The name "graffiti falls" attracts the kids, I've seen it plenty of times that people that have nothing to do with artwork or graffiti come along to put their name up in the falls just because they can. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that don't judge the graffiti community because of this. There's probably only about three to four real taggers that use graffiti falls, if you make a trip down there once every two weeks you can see the competetion between these people. Granted that was last year, I haven't being in the state for a while.

And another thing, graffiti didn't ruin the place, that bridge did. Until that bridge is gone, I think the manitou springs community is wasting their money trying to fix up the place.

Jun 18, 2011 08:48 PM #20
Rainmaker
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Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Hello KS,

I appreciate you weighing in on this subject, and your respectful way of doing so. I would agree - 99% of what I saw there was badly done, and the use of foul language makes it even more deplorable. I have in places seen grafitti that I considered to be beautiful artwork. It always begged the question, if a person had such talent, why would they waste it defacing public and private property that cost tax payers and private property owners millions of dollars each year to remove? My suggestion: Use their own homes and property as the canvas on which to display their art, not the property of others from whom no permission was granted.

As to the bridge, while it IS in bad condition and in need of repair, it is also historical, and IMHO, it's condition does not determine whether or not taggers have a right to deface it and the rock walls surrounding the falls. 

 

Jun 19, 2011 10:42 AM #21
Rainmaker
588,215
Gloria Todor and Doug Durren - Delaware County PA Real Estate
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Media, PA
Hard Working Professionals (484) 431-3686

Hi Debi,  Interesting phenomenon that has occurred at this location.  It looks very colorful from a distance.  Yet it is hard to see property defaced like this.   Many many years from now, with continued exposure to the elements what will this grafitti be transformed into? Still something undesireable or something that becomes more of interest to people not from this time period?

Gloria

Jul 26, 2011 10:56 PM #22
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Debi Boucher

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