All the familiar sights of Summit County in the springtime were present on Saturday. Cyclists navigated recpaths, tourists sauntered down sidewalks and cars zipped back and forth on the highway.
But yesterday morning, another site was hard to miss.
Dutiful volunteers came out by the hundreds from all over the county to clean up their communities. They were scavengers scouring the roadsides, ditches, parks and other public places, searching out and collecting trash of all shapes, smells and colors.
Volunteers seemed to take their job seriously, picking up trash as small as cigarette butts and as large as car bumpers.
Annette and Ed Rotthoff participated in the Dillon town cleanup.
“We love our town and want to see it clean,” Annette Rotthoff said.
There was no shortage of garbage to be picked up. The husband-and-wife team estimated they’d picked up about 30 pounds of odds and ends in the couple of hours they spent walking around.
“We know when you walk the trails after winter it’s quite a mess,” Ed Rotthoff said. “We use the environment in this area quite heavily so it’s nice to clean it up.”
Full bags of trash and recyclables began to appear along the sides of streets and highways all the way from Keystone to south Breckenridge — some stacked up in piles of up to a dozen bags, waiting to be collected.
“It’s kind of a loose pack of wolves out here,” Ed Rotthoff said. “We’re not necessarily hugging or bonding, but it is nice. It makes you realize you are part of a community being out here with other people. It makes you feel good.”
After working hard sprucing up their towns, volunteers throughout the county were treated to barbecues, refreshments, music and more.
Adrianna Thomas, of Summit Cove volunteered to help with the festivities at Rainbow park in Dillon. She said she’s been participating in the cleanup with her family for the past three years.
“The area where we live is so beautiful, but there is a lot of trash,” she said.
The Summit County mom said her family tries to make it a habit to pick up garbage whenever they see it.
“We pick up trash when we are out anyway, but it is nice to get out together and meet other people who are doing it, too,” she said. “My son is a cub scout, so it is also good to teach him to help out the community.”
The town of Frisco blocked off a portion of Main Street for its cleanup after-party. Mayor Gary Wilkinson did his part, manning the barbecue with other town officials. They were all smiles as they flipped burgers for the volunteers.
“We had a great turnout for the community picture and a long line of people picking up trash bags this morning,” Wilkinson said.
Backcountry Brewery donated three kegs for the celebration.
“It’s nice to hang out and get to work together,” said brewery volunteer Lauren Forcey. “It’s good to come out and be part of the town. I think it definitely makes for a tighter community.”