ALPENA, Mich. — A piece of history, millions of years in the making, was recently vandalized at Rockport State Park in Alpena.
James Kanelopoulos has visited the park many times with his son, however, on Oct. 31, they were on a hike in the area when they found someone had vandalized a piece of natural history. A boulder, full of the fossilized remains of organisms that lived millions of years ago, is now covered in graffiti referring to Black Lives Matter.
Kanelopoulos said when they arrived at the location, his son was devastated. “Literally, he started to cry, because he couldn’t believe that one of his favorite places to go to and explore was vandalized,” he said. “It’s starting to get a little bit worse because up on top of the cliff we discovered more graffiti on rocks on the top of the cliff.”
The letters “BLM”, 2020, smiley faces, and a marijuana leaf are spray painted on the boulder. There’s also what seems to be the name “Ciara”, which Kanelopoulos said could be a clue to who the culprit is. He said it’s saddening to see something so old and historic being treated this way and he hopes they find who did this so that justice can be served. “I mean it’s been there for hundreds of millions of years and then this person comes along and decides to spray paint all over it. So, I was enraged and wanted to reach out and let people know to keep a look out for anybody out vandalizing any of our state parks in Michigan.”
Kanelopoulos said it’s a shame that now instead of visitors remembering the many fossils in the area, they will now have to remember all of the graffiti.