Playa Preservation Tips

Our man Dave X, who manages the Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) and all the awesome pyro stuff you see on playa (yay fireworks) wrote up a great post about taking care of the playa, and what you can do to help … a lot of stuff you are likely not aware of that makes a big difference. Take it to heart, and your planning process! Dave X says:

When I first came to the Black Rock Desert (in 1992) for Burning Man I was amazed at the place. ”NOTHING” in any direction: no plants, no rocks, no people and no rules. The place seemed indestructible and the perfect place for all kinds of jack-assery.

MOOP Map 2008, photo by Jay Longson

Well, over the years (as I returned over and over) I started to notice (when I got there early before anyone else) that I could find here and there old Burning Man trash: a piece of firework cardboard, some odd, burned gravel, or something shiny…

I also learned that a slow leak of RV juice or fuel made small spots on the Playa that can, like the tip of an iceberg, represent a huge area that is soaked just below the surface and that is hard to dig out.

The Playa, like the Ocean, hides its shame just below the surface and it is only when it floats up to the top that we seem to notice. These type of degradations to the Playa surface can be healed but, as we gain population and continually reuse this resource, it is becoming harder and harder to repair the mess.

So, before we reach a tipping point and lose our access to this valuable resource, we must redouble our efforts to protect the surface of the Black Rock Desert.

Some tips to help:

Burn scar prevention

Fuel spill prevention

How to line sweep and clean your Camp or Art Project

The awesome Burning Man Environmental Video Collection

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art headquarters) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, then transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009 to become Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He's the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s websites. He also manages the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social networking efforts.

Leave a Reply