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Perseid meteor shower casualties: Mount Rainier wildflowers

Shooting stars led people all over the world to head outside and look up Saturday night. It was the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Mount Rainier National Park officials say the park’s wildflower meadows took a beating as a result.

The sky was full of stars and the mountain was full of people, and their cars, and their trash, as visitors swarmed Mount Rainier's Paradise and Sunrise areas.

Park officials shared photos Tuesday of overflowing trash cans and parking lots, trampled wildflower meadows, and illegally parked vehicles and tents.

Mountain wildflowers survive long winters under many feet of snow, but they can’t survive many feet of off-trail pedestrians. The park says most sky-watchers enjoy the park responsibly, by staying on trails and not putting their boots, bodies, blankets, tents, or cars on fragile meadows.

Mount Rainier officials encourage everyone to enjoy the wonders of outer space without trashing planet Earth.

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