Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m here in Gerlach with 120 members of your DPW Playa Restoration home team. They are preparing to enter the damp, sticky and frigid playa — armed only with MOOP sticks, shovels and magnet rakes — to eradicate the final traces of Burning Man 2013.
The season is skidding to a close as we dodge rainstorms and near-freezing temperatures; we may even get a little snow this evening. Summer is officially a dusty memory, but still the MOOP lines march on.
As many of you have remarked, the line sweeps are covering a lot of ground this year, and in record time. On Day 4, 45 city blocks disappeared under the moopers’ feet. And yes, the Playa Restoration All-Star team is one hell of a crew — but the line sweeps’ pace ultimately depends on YOU, and how well Black Rock City practices Leaving No Trace. When the city blocks are green and MOOP-free, the Resto line sweepers move at a fast clip. And this year, we’ve encountered a whole lot of green blocks.
In fact, we’re seeing green this year in all sorts of places. So while Playa Restoration continues marching through the city grid, let’s take a moment and turn our eyes elsewhere: far out in the deep playa, where the Temple of Whollyness once stood.
This year’s Temple of Whollyness was stunning for a number of reasons. Created by Gregg Fleishman, Melissa “Syn” Barron, and Terry Gross, A.K.A. Lightning Clearwater III, the Temple was built entirely without metal hardware, a feat of geometry that is truly mind-boggling. Add to that the memories, prayers, emotions and tributes brought here the people of Burning Man, and the towering pyramid became hallowed ground, the spiritual center of Black Rock City.
In truth, Burning Man has been honored with incredibly moving, artistic and astounding Temples year after year. But year after year, once the structure and its memories have burned away, the Temple site is strewn with bits of MOOP, traces left by the tens of thousands of visitors who came to pay tribute.
Until this year.
In 2013, the Playa Restoration Special Forces team is reporting that the Temple site is impressively clean, green and MOOP-free. It’s cleaner than we’ve ever seen a Temple site, which is a huge testament to the crew’s Leave No Trace commitment. It’s even more impressive when you consider that every one of the thousand pieces of wood used were routed and sanded on site in the Black Rock Desert.
For the enthusiasm with which they embody the Ten Principles, and for everything they give to Black Rock City without leaving a trace behind, the Restoration crew honors LNT Lead Amy “Maven” Bunker and the entire Temple of Whollyness crew with a Resto award for Leaving No Temple.
How to Leave No Temple: photos from the crew
Maven and the Temple crew documented their MOOP control, prevention and cleanup efforts in a photo series. Prepare to be impressed; we certainly are.
Temple of Whollyness, we salute you and are proud to award you for your extraordinary contributions to Black Rock City, and your success at Leaving No Temple in 2013.
MOOP Map Live will continue soon with an update on the progress in Day 5. Tune in soon to find out how it went!