State Park Nonprofits Hope To Dust Bust Fire Road

Efforts are underway to raise funds for bringing Dust Off to Nisene Marks State Park for the second time.

by Hannah Moore

May 6, 2015—When the dust settles (literally) on the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park fire road, two California State Park nonprofits want it busted off with Dust Off.

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks and California State Parks are working together to minimize airborne dust on Aptos Creek Fire Road this summer with Dust Off.

Dust Off was used at Nisene Marks last year. The Forest of Nisene Marks Advisory Committee, made up of three organizations, funded the fire road re-grade from the entrance kiosk to the Steel Bridge, a Dust Off coat application and a 500-ton rock base. The method significantly reduced the amount of dust in the air.

“The fire road is a multi-use road for vehicles, cyclists, runners and hikers,” says Bonny Hawley, executive director of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. “The dust can be irritating for those exercising. The dust also can affect the views of redwoods and other park flora near the road.”

Hawley adds that the effects of Dust Off were noticed immediately during last year’s use and that park users were happy with the outcome.

The cost of this summer’s fire road maintenance, including Dust Off application and laying down an extra 250 tons of base rock, is projected at $14,500. The amount will be funded by the Advocates and Friends. So far, the Advocates have raised $3,000 toward the effort. Fundraising and online donation options are underway to help support the project.

“[Fire road] is an unpaved road and extensive use causes dust to kick up,” says Hawley. “Lack of rain also leads to dust accumulation.”

The dust starts gathering when rainy season ends and lasts until it rains, according to Hawley. She adds that this happens at Nisene Marks annually as spring turns to summer.

Dust Off has been an environmentally safe, cost effective dust-control and road-maintenance method for more than 25 years. The dust suppressant works by absorbing air moisture “to maintain optimum moisture in the road particles,” according to, the Dust Off distributor.

The entire process of applying Dust Off to an area takes one week.

“We are pleased this partnership between Friends, the Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks and California State Parks could work together to improve the quality of park users’ experience at The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks,” says Hawley.

To donate to this project, visit