OGLESBY, Ill. (CBS) — Wanted – a couple, possibly showing their love for one another by scrawling graffiti in Starved Rock State Park.
As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported Monday, the staff at the park is tired of constantly cleaning a sacred site.
The Council Overhang rock formation at the state park is a blend of beauty and history. It was used for thousands of years as a meeting spot for Native Americans.
But the historical significance has not stopped people from defacing the stone.
“I think that the darker sections here are what were done over the holiday weekend,” said Starved Rock Supt. Kerry Novak as he pointed to some graffiti on the rock.
Novak said the Council Overhang was last cleaned three years ago, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at it.
“It’s pretty disgusting,” he said. “And hopefully, if we get the word out and let people think about it a little bit, I’d love to see it come to a stop.”
Novak said some new markings showed up over Labor Day weekend. Staff later learned of a picture posted to social media of two people posing near the graffiti, including a heart with the initials “B + X.”
CBS 2 blurred the people’s faces because they have not been charged with a crime, and Conservation Police have not said whether they were the ones who made the markings. But a representative of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources confirmed that Conservation Police want to question them.
“Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to control and clean up after considering the lack of staff and time that we have here,” Novak said.
Novak said the latest incident is just one instance of a larger problem that has infuriated him. He is hoping if the Labor Day weekend vandals are caught and punished, it will help put an end to the graffiti problems.
‘It always puts a bitter taste in your mouth,” Novak said.
If the vandals are caught, they could be fined more than $200. Novak said he hopes they will also pay for professionals to come out and clean the graffiti.