Skip to Content

State Park Trashed By Gender Reveal Announcement

State Park Trashed By Gender Reveal Announcement

Gender reveal parties have become increasingly popular over the last decade. In fact, a BabyCenter survey found that 40% of moms-to-be had a gender reveal announcement in 2018.

These celebrations are meant to be fun and filled with anticipation. But unfortunately, they can also turn dangerous with explosives and fire.

A recent gender reveal announcement went too far, creating a mess at a Colorado State Park. No one was injured, but the confetti left behind resulted in four hours of clean-up by the park staff.

Let’s take a look at just what happened at Castlewood Canyon.

What Happened with the Gender Reveal At Castlewood Canyon?

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a gender reveal party was held at Castlewood Canyon State Park in Colorado. Instead of cleaning up the blue confetti and trash from the celebration, the visitors left behind a huge mess.

Pictures of the waste left along the Lake Gulch Trail hit the local news stations as park staff pleaded with residents to follow the “Leave No Trace” guideline when visiting shared lands like state parks.

What Were The Effects On The Park?

“Leave No Trace” means disposing of trash, using the restroom facilities, picking up after pets, not feeding wildlife, and properly disposing of smoking materials. Essentially, guests should leave the park as they found it.

This isn’t a difficult rule to follow. We must protect wildlife and their habitats, plus plants and other natural features. Unfortunately, it took park staff several hours to clean up the mess. Thankfully, there were no further reports of additional destruction.

Are Gender Reveals Ruining Wild Spaces?

Sadly, these gender reveal parties are becoming more and more excessive. Parents-to-be seem more concerned with creating viral videos than discovering the gender of their babies. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the scene at Castlewood Canyon isn’t new. A couple of weeks before, they had a similar case at the same state park.

These celebrations have started fires and injured guests. The trash left behind destroys habitats. Wildlife is also at risk. Animals eat the debris left behind, which can result in illness and often death. Plus, the park staff spends hours cleaning up a mess left by visitors when they could use those hours to serve the public better.

About Castlewood Canyon State Park

One of 43 state parks in Colorado, Castlewood Canyon, welcomes over 200,000 visitors every year. Near Franktown, this state park includes the Castlewood Canyon Dam and 14 miles of trails. The Bridge Canyon Overlook is a beautiful location for weddings and other celebrations. Castlewood Canyon is a day-use state park. No camping is allowed.

Planning A Gender Reveal? Here’s How To ‘Leave No Trace’.

There’s nothing wrong with having a gender reveal celebration. It’s a terrific time in the lives of the parents-to-be, their family, and their friends. But there are wrong ways in which to celebrate. If you want to plan a gender reveal on shared land in public areas, please “Leave No Trace.”

Stay On Trails & Designated Areas

Staying on the trails doesn’t just refer to your feet. Everything should stay in the designated areas. Don’t shoot confetti or other objects into wooded areas. This is critically important to protecting wildlife and their habitats. And don’t venture off the trails to create a surprise. When you walk off the paths, you’re stepping into natural habitats and perhaps ruining plant life.

Pick Up Your Trash

Even when you stay in the designated area, you are responsible for cleaning up your trash. The park staff is not. Don’t expect someone to come around picking up after you. If a cake is served, clean up the paper plates, napkins, and forks. Did balloons get popped? Pick up every single piece. Sweep up any glitter or confetti. Leave the area looking like it did before you arrived.

Use The Restrooms Responsibly

Again, park staff has more important things to do than cleaning up after visitors. Don’t trash the restroom facilities or throw waste on the floor. And, if someone gets sick, clean up and alert park staff. But don’t leave a gross mess in the bathrooms. Other visitors use those facilities, too. Be respectful and leave no trace even in manmade facilities.

Don’t Take Any Souvenirs

In some locations, it’s illegal to take anything from the park. Sometimes you’ll see signs that tell guests to take pictures but nothing else. Don’t remove even a tiny rock. These lands are protected areas to preserve the natural habitats of plants and animals. If you want a souvenir, take home a piece of cake or a bag of confetti.

Don’t Feed The Animals

Finally, the last part of “Leave No Trace” means leaving the wildlife alone. These areas are meant to be safe, protected lands for animals. If visitors feed the animals, they’ll stop searching for food on their own. They’ll start eating things that aren’t natural. You could unintentionally harm an animal by feeding it something toxic. So don’t feed the animals.

Celebrate Responsibly, Leave No Trace

The scene at Castlewood Canyon is becoming all too frequent. It’s sad. Enjoy these gender reveal celebrations but do so responsibly. It’s a wonderful time of anticipation. Don’t let your excitement ruin our Earth. Have you witnessed other instances of these parties getting out of hand?

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Nan says:

    Could have been worse. A few years ago a gender reveal party on the Coronado National Forest resulted in a wildfire that incinerated over 40,000 acres.

  2. Bob says:

    You hit upon the problem with the act responsible. I’ve been traveling and camping extensively since family trips in the 50’s. People used to be responsible, and my parents taught me to be responsible. What I see now is a nation of irresponsible, self centered, the world turns around me jerks. Wherever I go I find people have left a mess for others to take care of. Kids who have not been taught the basics of civility. Instead they just do whatever they want and get in everyone’s way. They ride their bikes any old way with no concept of rules of the road, making it dangerous for everyone else. But this is at least the 2nd generation as I’ve then seen their parents and, so many other adults, acting the same way. I’ve been called mean because I’ve stopped kids from riding their bike through my site as a shortcut to theirs. And parents? My latest is in an RV park where a dog owner was using the empty site next to me as a dog park, having the dog crap 3′ from my chair and table. They think because they, at least, do pick it up it’s OK, that it doesn’t leave anything behind to stink. If they think this is fine then why don’t they just have their dogs crap 3′ from their chair? So not wanting to sit with the smell of dog crap I arranged the picnic tables from both sites an blocked it off with a sign saying “This is not the dog park”. I’m sure they consider me to be the jerk Lol!
    So obviously the people leaving a mess with their gender reveal parties are not going to be teaching their children to be responsible. I think when park staff sees this happening law enforcement should not let them leave until they’ve cleaned up everything.

  3. Nan says:

    @Bob, my S.O. and I camp host at a national park campground. A popular trail is next to it. The last few years the amount of trash that day use hikers leave has gotten worse with each season. People have turned into self-centered entitled slobs.