Graffiti Enforcement at He Mni Can-Barn Bluff

Graffiti Policy on the Bluff 

Council members voted unanimously on September 10, 2018, to prohibit paint or graffiti on the western rock face of He Mni Can [Heh-Meh-NEE-Cha] - Barn Bluff. The City already has a graffiti policy that covers all public and private property, and the Council simply recommitted to enforcing the law, including at that particular spot. According to the current policy, graffiti is defined as “any writing, printing, mark, sign, symbol, figure, design, inscription, or other drawing scratched, scrawled, printed, drawn, or otherwise placed on any natural edifice, surface of a building, wall, sidewalk, sign, phone pole or train pole or any permanent structure on public or private property which has the effect of defacing the property.”

For decades the graffiti policy has covered privately owned property like homes, garages, and businesses, and publicly owned property such as signs, benches, park pavilions, and other bluff walls. However, for almost 60 years the City did not actively enforced the policy on this particular rock wall. That has now changed.

When does enforcement of the policy start?

It is currently against City law to paint graffiti anywhere on the bluff. As with all graffiti, the Public Works Department will start to cover any graffiti with bluff-colored paint within 48 hours (weather permitting). The person(s) responsible for graffiti, if caught and convicted, will pay all costs associated with cleaning up the graffiti. (This already happens at all other locations in city limits; the same enforcement will take effect on the western face of He Mni Can-Barn Bluff starting November 15, 2018). City staff painted over the graffiti on October 12, 2018, in preparation for a community hike on October 16, co-hosted by Prairie Island Indian Community and the City of Red Wing.

City staff is currently researching ways to possibly remove all paint and bring the rock back to its natural state, but this decision will be made later based on cost estimates and a Council decision. This process is expensive because lead in the paint would need to be collected, and the location on the bluff is challenging.

Police will start enforcing park hours on the bluff, as well. The bluff closes at 10:30 p.m. This rule covers all City parks, including bluff parks like He Mni Can-Barn Bluff.