Scout Trail clean-up in Glenwood Springs could be model for future projects


Ty Hesse, 13, carries a bag of trash down Boy Scout Trail on Monday evening as his dad, Brett, prepares to follow him in the background. His brother Clay, 10, and mother, Mary Margaret, also volunteered to help remove trash. They were part of a group organized by Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers to help the city clean up the popular trail.
Peter Baumann / Post Independent

The recent trash cleanup off of Boy Scout Trail created a model that could be replicated for similar projects in the future.

The city of Glenwood Springs joined forces with ECOS Environmental & Disaster Restoration and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) to clean up abandoned encampments just above the Scout Trail trailhead.

On Friday ECOS removed hazardous materials and bagged trash for removal, and on Monday city parks superintendent Dan Roper, RFOV program manager Daniel Benavent and nearly a dozen RFOV volunteers hauled out the trash bags.

The city has used ECOS for cleanups before, but that was for areas easily accessible by vehicle, Roper said.

The big difference this time was the remote nature of the cleanup on a steep hillside with no vehicle access, Roper said.

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That remoteness drove costs up.

The city paid ECOS about $3,000 for its work, but it would have been about $9,500 if ECOS had hauled all the trash bags out, Roper said.

“That’s actually why we went the route we did,” Roper said of using RFOV volunteers to keep costs down. “This is the first time we’ve partnered with RFOV on a project like this.” 

It probably won’t be the last.

“The hope is we could use this model in the future moving forward with other areas,” Roper said.

“This is the first time RFOV and the city and ECOS have worked together in this fashion, and it seems like it’s beneficial for the community to pursue this,” Jacob Baker, RFOV communications and outreach coordinator, said.

RFOV’s expertise is providing community stewardship, Baker said, defining stewardship as “caring for the places we care about.”

“Getting the residents of Glenwood Springs on the ground and taking charge of the stewardship of their community really reinforces the concept of stewardship,” he said.

In all, about nine cubic yards worth of trash were hauled away, Roper said.

While the trash cleanup is complete, there is still more work to be done.

“We’re going to help reclaim that spot, too, to remove that platform bench area and all that. It’s not a matter of just removing it but then to help mitigate the issues that came from building that platform up there,” Roper said.

Cleanups are nothing new for RFOV, though this project brings the group back to its beginnings.

“We started as a trails organization on the Scout Trail 25 years ago,” Baker said.

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