North Phoenix community working to clean up graffiti on mountain

Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 20:59:00-05

A north Phoenix community will be arming themselves with paint and hiking up the neighborhood mountain to fix damage caused by vandals.

The peak of Deem Hills, right behind Sandra Day O'Connor High School and north of Happy Valley Road is now scarred by graffiti. Most of it appears to be initials and numbers. 

"There's a lot of pain, some of it spilled on rocks. It's just ugly," said Ann Means O'Brien, the co-leader of the neighborhood community group Block Watch North Phoenix.

The damage was on state trust land leased by the Deer Valley School District.

O'Brien said students had also been helping pick up trash and clean up the area, but cleaning up the graffiti without damaging the environment is difficult.

"It's obviously very unattractive but I don't think the kids had ill intent, but it's not good for the plants, it's not good for the community. We should take pride in our home," O'Brien said.

Traci Cook, a north Phoenix resident who was helping organize the cleanup effort said you can see the graffiti for miles.

"At the end of the day it's defacing the environment," Cook said. "It's added on and added on over the years — it's just getting uglier and uglier and more and more destroyed."

City park rangers went up with the group on Thursday morning to teach residents how to paint the rocks and shade them, blending them in with the natural environment.

The neighborhood group is now looking for donations and volunteers to tackle this project. They're hoping to raise $1,000.  If you'd like to chip in or volunteer to paint rocks you can reach out to the organizers at