Greetings from the remains of Black Rock City, where 120 brave members of the DPW Playa Restoration team are storming the streets and doing what they do best: Making sure Burning Man 2013 upholds its promise to Leave No Trace.
The stakes are higher than we ever could have imagined. With the Bureau of Land Management’s site inspection looming on October 2, we’ve got just 2 weeks to make sure our city is up to the BLM’s exacting standard. We’ve never failed before, but with so many Black Rock Citizens at Burning Man 2013 (not to mention a larger city grid than ever before), we’re certainly covering a lot of new ground.
Our goal: To scour the city and remove all Matter Out Of Place, in the process creating this year’s MOOP Map.
What does Playa Restoration actually do?
Burning Man is a Leave No Trace event. It’s one of our guiding principles as a community, and it’s also a condition of our agreement to use the Black Rock Desert, which is public land belonging to everyone and which is managed by the BLM. In a couple of weeks, BLM inspectors will be here to find out how well we did at Leaving No Trace. Their guidelines are strict.
If we fail the inspection, Burning Man may lose its permit. The last line of defense against this uncertain fate is Playa Restoration, also known as Resto. This hardcore crew walks every inch of Black Rock City that we possibly can, getting down on our hands and knees to pick up even the tiniest MOOP. Led by 14-year Resto veteran (and 9-year Resto Manager) D.A., we have the time of our lives doing it.
So far, D.A.’s team has never failed an inspection. Will this be the year? Not if we can help it.
Over the next two weeks, this blog will document Playa Restoration’s quest to Leave No Trace. Here, we’ll also reveal the Burning Man MOOP Map for 2013.
What is the MOOP Map?
The MOOP Map is a graphical representation of all the Matter Out of Place remaining in Black Rock City after Burning Man is over. Focusing primarily on the city grid, the line sweep moves systematically through the city, recording its findings on a scale from green (clean) to yellow (okay) to red (moopy).
Playa Restoration line sweepers are the eyes of the playa. They aren’t just here to pick up MOOP; they also record what they find, and report back to the city on how we all did as a community.
Using GPS units, cameras and notes of what was found in trouble zones, our team of three scribes documents not just the MOOP, but its location (to the best of our locating ability).
As the Restoration team starts to crunch all that data, we can show you a preview of what the map will look like. Starting a few days from now, we’ll be posting preliminary MOOP Maps here on this blog!
What’s different about the MOOP blog this year?
Lots is the same: We’re still going to deliver your scores as soon as we can, with lots of photos of dirty people carrying trash buckets. You love that, right? Good.
However, we think the story goes well beyond what the Restoration team does, and so this year we are inviting camps, artists and Burners to send us your MOOP story! We’ve got a handful of awesome camps with stories to share, and if you have something to add from your own experience, we are eager to hear about it and just might share it.
One of the major unique things we do, as a very unique community putting on a very unique event, is to LEAVE NO TRACE. It’s actually pretty magical, if you think about it. We come out here in droves, build an entire city from the dust, explode it into art and music and human expression and a truly transformative experience for tens of thousands of people…and then we disappear and it all goes back to dust.
We Leave No Trace and we are damned proud of it. This year, we want to make sure we’re recognizing all the work, all the personal responsibility and all the communal effort that goes into this achievement. That’s why we’re hoping to hear more from YOU. More soon on how it’ll all work!
And that’s it for today, folks. I’ll have lots more for you soon: photos, video, reports and stories. Can’t wait to share them with you.
Please say hi in the comments! And see more Resto photos on Flickr.