High 5: Volunteers Work to Preserve Utah’s Natural Beauty

Sep 25, 2019, 9:32 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A group of hikers got up extra early on a Saturday morning to head up the Donut Falls trail in Big Cottonwood.

They’re not just hiking. They’re working — picking up trash that’s been left behind.

The group is called Tidy Trails, and we thought they deserved a High 5.

We surprise them with some grabbers and reusable bags, which got plenty of use right away.

This is just some of the trash gathered by the group Tidy Trails.

This is just some of the trash gathered by the group Tidy Trails.

“It wasn’t until college that I learned about plastic pollution, and once I learned about it I just saw it everywhere,” said Meagan Nielsen, who got the group started. “I couldn’t go hiking anymore without doing something about it, so I came up with this idea. Now I have all these amazing people that come out here and do it with me.”

She said she wants people to be more aware of what they’re using and what they’re throwing away.

“We find a lot of just like plastic water bottles, stuff like that that could easily be taken care of with a reusable water bottle,” she said.

“This hike we’ve been on before, we built like an entire outfit out of things we found on the hike,” a volunteer said. “We’d found underwear, we found a shirt, we found glasses, we found like five binkies, a pair of shoes.”

The volunteers got a lot of work accomplished. They picked up bottles, clothes, you name it — all thrown away or dropped.

Sometimes it’s the smallest trash that can do the most damage.

“You got the top of someone’s camera that was hidden down in some brush, and just all these little pieces that are broken off, and this is all the little stuff that I figure ends up down in the rivers and the streams,” Nielsen said.

So it’s a job well done after this outing, and with more public awareness, the group hopes for more “Tidy Trails” in the future.

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High 5: Volunteers Work to Preserve Utah’s Natural Beauty