Wipe the graffiti off Mt. Tom

$6,208 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 122 people in 34 months
Hi, my name is Naima Workman. I moved from Boston to Northampton, Massachusetts, nine years ago to open a yoga studio. I consider myself lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Like so many Western Mass residents, one of my greatest pleasures in life is hiking in the woods and enjoying the breathtaking natural landscape out here. 

One of my favorite hiking spots is Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA. Since I moved to Western Mass, I have hiked this mountain nearly every day. And sadly I have seen a proliferation of ugly, vulgar, and even racist graffiti on the cliffs at the peak. It's heartbreaking to see this beautiful local gem become gradually more and more defiled.


If no one does anything about it, this problem will continue to grow as people feel more and more licensed to add to the mess. It has gotten to the point that people are spray painting the trees. The more graffiti goes up and stays up, the less respect people have for this sacred space and the more this beautiful natural spot becomes just another dump.

I can't take it anymore and I have decided to stop waiting for someone else to take action. I have found a method of graffiti removal that involves biodegradable solvents and a portable pressure washer that has its own water tank so it can operate in areas with no available water source. You can see these products in action at http://www.graffitiremovalinc.com. The money I raise will go towards buying this unique pressure washer, the solvents, and a cart to move the pressure washer around the narrow steep paths on the mountain. By purchasing the pressure washer, we create the possibility of making this clean up and annual event, rather than a one time effort.


On October 2, I and a group of determined volunteers will wipe the graffiti off the face of Mt. Tom. I will need the funds to purchase the supplies by September 21. Please consider donating whatever you can. This is an opportunity to support a really wonderful community, and to do your part to make the world a more beautiful place. You can make a difference! 

I, and everyone else who hikes Mt. Tom, will be so thankful and overwhelmed with joy when we can finally see this space in its natural state of beauty. Thank you so much for your donation.

Love,
Naima

PS: This clean up is happening with the support and blessing of Holyoke Gas & Electric, who own this section of Mt. Tom.

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For all of you who are desperately in need of some good news, here you go... In case you were not aware, new, racist, anti-Semitic graffiti showed up on Mt Tom within a week of the initial clean up in October. I was aware of it and totally overwhelmed by the prospect of organizing another clean up and discouraged by the maliciousness of the new vandalism.

Fortunately, photographs of the hateful marks made it to Facebook and, long story short, the community rallied around the cause and wiped them off Mt. Tom within 24 hours of seeing the photos. Incredible.

Thank you all for your support. Whether you donated money, time, or elbow grease, you are an inspiration. How moving to see Margaret Mead's words come to life: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Check out these articles from Masslive, The Hampshire Gazette, and New England Public Radio:
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/volunteers_remove_racist_anti-.html
http://www.gazettenet.com/Easthampton-residents-come-together-to-clean-hateful-graffiti-off-Mt-Tom-5973815
http://nepr.net/news/2016/11/11/scrubbing-away-hateful-words-atop-mt-tom/
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Although I am saddened by the reason for the renewed support for this fundraiser, it warms my heart to see people unite around a good cause. The latest batch of graffiti on Mt. Tom is the most shocking yet, but it has energized the community more than ever. The number of people in the clean up crew group on Facebook has swelled from 20 to more than 250 in a matter of hours. When we unite and work together, we are unstoppable. Sometimes dark times make it easier to see the light. Thank you for your support!
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Hi everyone!

Well, the big cleaning day was on Sunday and it was a huge success! Because this job is so ambitious, we will definitely have to go back and take another whack at it. It takes time to remove 80 years of graffiti, apparently. But we made a big dent in it and cleaned many many rocks! I and the rest of the community are so grateful for your support and donations. I wish I had more space to post before and after pictures, but there are plenty on Facebook, so take a look there. THANK YOU!!!!
BEFORE
AFTER
Just a few of the amazing clean up crew
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Hi everyone! I have some exciting news to share. I did a test run of the graffiti removal chemicals and I have to say they did not disappoint. I have included before and after pictures of the results. It's really encouraging to see the effectiveness of this graffiti removal system. I am so looking forward to seeing the rest of the graffiti disappear before our eyes!

I want to reiterate that this will need to be an ongoing effort to keep the graffiti at bay and any funds donated from this point on will be put towards future cleaning efforts. Thank you again to everyone who has donated and please keep sharing with anyone who cares about keeping Mt. Tom beautiful.

Love, Naima
Graffiti gone!
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Read a Previous Update
Sigh Coexboifrend
19 months ago

Real men don't tag rocks. Real men don't tag trees. Real men don't tag driftwood. Real men don't tag. Good job Naima.

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Keith Robbins
33 months ago

While I fully support the removal of all of the ugly, vulgar, and racist graffiti, I would hope you folks aren't planning on removing every bit of it. I believe I'm speaking for many in the area by saying that it's kind of become a staple in our lives. I've lived here my entire life and have been hiking Mt. Tom for as long as I can remember. Removing EVERY piece of what some would call art seems like removing a large chunk of our local history that we've all grown up with.

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Damien Johnson
34 months ago

I have contemplated doing this for years. Would love to help with the clean up if you need it.

+ Read More
Nate Davis
34 months ago

I'd also be interested in helping out!

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Colleen Keenan
34 months ago

I would love to help out in October! Please keep me posted.

+ Read More
Anne Stengle
34 months ago

If you saw the western MA populations, it's way worse, sadly!

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Anne Stengle
34 months ago

Save the snakes!

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$6,208 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 122 people in 34 months
Created August 26, 2016
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DH
$50
David Hewlings
31 months ago
EP
$15
Emily Porter
31 months ago
MP
$50
Mary Beth Phair
31 months ago
EK
$50
Elizabeth Kass
31 months ago
JG
$50
Jennifer Giering
31 months ago
$75
Raymah Hutchinson
31 months ago

Thank you for your work

RA
$50
Rosemary Arnold
31 months ago
PW
$50
Phyllis Woolf
31 months ago
$50
Anonymous
31 months ago
JA
$50
Joan Axelrod-Contrada
31 months ago

Racist and antisemitic graffiti is not okay!

Sigh Coexboifrend
19 months ago

Real men don't tag rocks. Real men don't tag trees. Real men don't tag driftwood. Real men don't tag. Good job Naima.

+ Read More
Keith Robbins
33 months ago

While I fully support the removal of all of the ugly, vulgar, and racist graffiti, I would hope you folks aren't planning on removing every bit of it. I believe I'm speaking for many in the area by saying that it's kind of become a staple in our lives. I've lived here my entire life and have been hiking Mt. Tom for as long as I can remember. Removing EVERY piece of what some would call art seems like removing a large chunk of our local history that we've all grown up with.

+ Read More
Damien Johnson
34 months ago

I have contemplated doing this for years. Would love to help with the clean up if you need it.

+ Read More
Nate Davis
34 months ago

I'd also be interested in helping out!

+ Read More
Colleen Keenan
34 months ago

I would love to help out in October! Please keep me posted.

+ Read More
Anne Stengle
34 months ago

If you saw the western MA populations, it's way worse, sadly!

+ Read More
Anne Stengle
34 months ago

Save the snakes!

+ Read More
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