Rainbow Family Gathering site focus of restoration as members move on from Colorado park | SummitDaily.com

Rainbow Family Gathering site focus of restoration as members move on from Colorado park

The gathering, which took place in Colorado this year, recorded roughly 10,000 attendees, officials say.

Ryan Biller
The Denver Post
Participants express their love for the group by decorating their vans and other personal belongings, seen on July 7, 2022, at the Rainbow Family of Living Light 50th anniversary gathering at Adams Park in Routt National Forest near Craig.
Kelsey Brunner/Special to The Denver Post

ROUTT NATIONAL FOREST — The Rainbow Family Gathering had upwards of 10,000 attendees at the peak of the unsanctioned annual event and federal officials say the large gathering in Routt National Forest has been dispersing since the Fourth of July.

The gatherings have long generated controversy, not just for the presence of drugs and other crimes, but because they are unauthorized. Rainbow Family has no one leader or person to speak on their collective behalf and therefore no one to sign the required permit that the U.S. Forest Service issues for large gatherings.

More so than residual trash, the bigger environmental issue according to Markin has been the degradation the area has suffered after hosting roughly 10,000 individuals, particularly regarding vegetation and land usage.

“Some rainbows stay on site after the gathering is over to work with our team to clean up,” Markin says. “In our experience, yes, many rainbows stay after to help us clean up, and we expect it to be no different this year.”

As the Rainbows leave, some will continue to leave to “allow the land to heal.” Per Rainbow Family Gathering tradition, a small council of people will stay on-site to plan the following year’s event.

Others will stay behind, usually about 100 or so, to help the forest service clean the area. In the past, Markin says that some Rainbows have stayed for weeks until the land has been restored and all trash cleaned up.

Read more on DenverPost.com.

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