The Spring Nightmare


City of Lake Elsinore affected by the superbloom traffic. Photo Credit: MCT Campus

Savannah Cadet Haynes, Staff Writer

The Spring Nightmare

The month of March typically brings college students for spring break to Southern California but this time around it has brought tourists for the spring wildflower Super Bloom in Lake Elsinore. With over 112,000 posts under the “#superbloom” hashtag and 9,179 posts with the #superbloom2019 hashtag on Instagram, the Super Bloom attraction has turned into a poppy field nightmare due to tourists. The super bloom is the annual blooming of poppies and various other flower species that happens every year in Southern California.

The poppy field is located of west of Riverside county in the city of Lake Elsinore.The tourist attraction has brought a number of problems starting with a large crowd that eventually caused heavy traffic congestion on and off the freeway in the surrounding areas. A statement was posted on the official city of Lake Elsinores Instagram page on March 13, stating “Last weekend, the City’s beautiful  #superbloom caused significant traffic congestion throughout the community…” “This week, the City will be working closely with out local law enforcement to evaluate various traffic control options to try to ease congestion on the weekends.” A number of other posts followed that statement with shuttle availability, road closure updates, and photos of the crowds surrounding the area. Lake Elsinore has even had to reach out to their neighboring county officials and county agencies for help in hopes that they would be able to oversee the large crowds and help with traffic. The large crowds has even caused the super bloom fields to close for a day.

Another problem following the Super Bloom is the crowd stepping off the trail and onto the poppies. With a number of pictures posted on Instagram, there has been a lot of controversy within the comments. Many of the posts include selfies and pictures of the fields, which means people are going off the trail to get that picture-perfect image. Instagram user @haleylaurenwilde captioned her lovely photo, “It’s days like these that I feel so incredibly lucky to be born and raised in California.” She is surrounded by a meadow of orange and purple flowers. However, there are multiple comments under her picture from a variety of people not agreeing with her picture. Instagram user @jillian_waldrop commented “Get your ass off the state flowers. Stay on the paths or go home.” Another user, @sodashis, commented “You clearly are off path sitting among the flowers…” Shame on you both for trampling the flowers making it less likely a super bloom can happen in future years.”

After viewing multiple articles, comments, and pictures based on the visual damage of the super bloom tragedy I have to agree with the comments under the Instagram pictures. Understanding the bigger picture of the poppy field nightmare, people have to understand that there is harm being done when you walk off the trail to take a simple picture, because it becomes a ripple effect. Once one person walks off the trail everyone else will follow if there is no consequence.  The picture-perfect image does not seem worth it when it can cause a number of negative effects afterwards.