Smith Rock has seen a huge increase in visitors in the past few years. This is evidenced by any weekend trip out to the park where cars are seen to be parked to the pumpkin patch and sometimes beyond. Some estimates claim over 750,000 people visit the park each year.
In 2021 all Oregon state parks saw a record increase of visitors at 53,656,533, according to Oregonlive. This is up from the previous record-setting year in 2016 with 51,716,728 visitors. With this increased interest in natural areas comes the burdens of human impact. Smith Rock is no exception. In recent years the park has seen human-created social trails increasing, retaining walls deteriorating and many other signs of erosion.
If interested in giving back to the popular state park, check out the annual Smith Rock Spring Thing hosted by the grassroots-nonprofit, Smith Rock Group, since 1993. The Spring Thing is back after a two-year hiatus, and is ready to get volunteers rocking!
Leading up to the disbandment of the event caused by COVID, there were around 250 volunteers who showed up consistently. The volunteer groups separate into different projects of interest spread throughout the park. In the past these have included replacing wooden steps, improving water drainage systems on trails, enhancing campground amenities and repairing fences.
The event is held for any recreator who uses the park. Past events pulled volunteers from all over Oregon, stretching to surrounding states. Pre-registration is required as well as proof of vaccination per park program requirements. It is an all-day event starting at 8am running until roughly 5pm. A light breakfast and tools will be provided. Volunteers of all ages will be invited to help out.
Smith Rock Spring Clean
April 30, 8am-5pm
Smith Rock State Park
Terrebonne, OR 97760