It is no secret that we are surrounded by natural beauty in Door County. One particular attraction for both locals and tourists alike is Cave Point County Park. It gives visitors the chance to appreciate the scenery and sounds of nature unique in each of the seasons. It provides us a retreat from our modern lives to Earth’s natural form.
It is unfortunate that a practice that has grown in popularity over the years has succeeded in depreciating its natural beauty. I am referring to rock stacking, which some suggest to be “cairns.” Although cairns traditionally serve as monuments and navigational landmarks, I find the term fitting in this case. These “self-made monuments” only serve as a reminder of human presence, which is what many who appreciate nature strive to get away from. To me, these eyesores simply scream, “I was here.”
The unsteady stacks, which have multiplied through a “monkey see, monkey do” approach, not only threaten the aesthetics of Cave Point, but the safety of those who wish to enjoy it. It has reached the point of making it difficult to walk without risking personal injury.
Due to this problem occurring at Cave Point County Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park, I urge both county and state park officials to address this problem. Signage to educate the public is a great start. Although signs only serve a purpose to those who are morally obedient to them, I feel that this will reduce the amount of cairns constructed due to the fact that most people see it as a harmless activity and are unaware of its negative impact. If the problem persists, consider initiating an ordinance prohibiting the stacking of rocks. Let us remember ‘Leave No Trace’ principle four: Leave what you find.
I await Mother Nature’s icy arrival this winter to take back what is hers and return Cave Point to its natural state. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to give her a hand…or a gentle push.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.