Cleaning up the county |

Cleaning up the county

HARRIET HAMILTONsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

SUMMIT COUNTY – It may be mud season in the High Country, but local residents who aren’t on vacation trips showed up in droves Saturday morning to tidy up the county before summer tourism begins.Volunteers donning plastic orange vests, wearing gloves and carrying large garbage bags could be seen picking up trash in every corner of the county, as all four Summit towns, plus Dillon Valley and Keystone, participated in Countywide Cleanup Day.Although items of value occasionally surfaced – Jo Ann Meyer found a $10 bill behind Wendy’s in Frisco – most volunteers discovered just garbage. Composition of the garbage varied, however, depending on the location. Straws, Styrofoam and plastic bags littered the fields along Summit Boulevard in Frisco, while volunteers near Frisco’s West Main Street reported cans as their biggest challenge.

“Beer cans mostly,” Paul Mattson observed, as he and his children Till, Lea, Kari and Anders trolled the roadside for detritus.Working the I-70 on-ramps, one Frisco volunteer noted most of the cans he came across were varieties of light beer.”At least they’re watching their weight when they throw the can out the window,” he said with a laugh.Dan McCrerey returned a Wal-Mart cart he pulled out of pond near Big O Tires and said he considered himself lucky the diaper he found hadn’t been used.David Cunningham was surprised to find cigarette butts near Frisco Elementary.

“I don’t know who was smoking behind the elementary school, but it wasn’t my son,” he said jokingly.After a morning of work, volunteers were invited to a free meal by each town. More than 300 residents of all ages showed up at Walter Byron Park in Frisco for hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers, prepared by town council members on outdoor grills.Joyce Brassem sat in the sun drinking beer with a table of friends. She, husband Larry, and daughter Brooke, worked Summit Boulevard this year. Her family always participates on cleanup day.”You’ve got to give back,” she said. “And it’s nice to get out and see everybody.”

Also joining the Frisco barbecue were the High Country Conservation Center staff, Lisa Taylor from the Summit County Weed Program and representatives from the Mountain Mentors. The Forest Service provided assorted tree saplings for volunteers to take home.”I’ve got some aspens in my yard that are probably 15 feet tall now that I got from a town cleanup day,” Amy Levy said. “My first cleanup day was ’93 and we’ve been coming ever since.”A table displayed objects volunteers submitted in a contest to determine the most valuable, the grossest and the most unusual item found. One volunteer discovered a personal check for $500 dated last November. Other items of note included an animal skull found near Waterdance by Curran Godfrey and his brother.When he finally got the chance to sit down and eat, Frisco Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen expressed his satisfaction with the town effort.”We had great weather and lots of volunteers,” he said. “The town looks wonderful.”

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