Sep 5, 2017

Daily Herald News Article 8/30

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Sep 5, 2017

 

"Many people go about doing good deeds in their families, neighborhoods, organizations and church congregations. “Utah Valley’s Everyday Heroes” celebrates these unsung community members and brings to light their quiet contributions.

 

American Fork Canyon has long been a destination for people wanting to get outdoors and into nature.

But with the growing popularity of the canyon, there’s also more trash being left behind.

The members of the Backcountry Offroad Adventure Rally are making it a priority to help clean up the canyon.

“A lot of us live near the mouth of the canyon and in Utah County,” said Brian Twyman, a member of the Backcountry Offroad Adventure Rally. “The canyon is very important to us and we know that off-roading groups get a bad rap and we want to show we care.”

 

The Backcountry Offroad Adventure Rally, a family-oriented service group for outdoor and off-roading enthusiasts, started hosting weekly cleanups near the end of July. The group will be hosting its seventh event on Friday evening.

 

While the off-roading group has helped clean up other areas, the members decided to pay special attention to the area around Forest Road 085, which the group adopted, after noticing the condition previous visitors had left it in.

“We were up there a month and a half ago and noticed just vast amounts of trash and decided we’d head up to the campgrounds and pick up trash there and on the road,” Twyman said.

During their weekly cleanups, Twyman said the group generally finds quite a bit of trash, filling both kitchen-sized trash bags and the larger ones used in freeway cleanup.

“It’s pretty depressing what we’ve found over time,” he said.

Twyman said the group has also found a rusted out 50-gallon drum in the river and an abandoned campsite.

 

The group not only focuses on cleaning up the area, but also tries to talk with and educate the people they come in contact with because some of them aren’t aware there is no trash service in the area and that visitors are expected to take their trash with them.

“If we can educate people so they can become advocates, that’s more important than getting out and yelling at people for not keeping the area clean,” Twyman said. “We want to get people to come together and help out.”

 

He said all are welcome to assist with the cleanup at 6:30 p.m. Friday for about an hour. The group will be meeting at the Chevron in Highland.

 

The group will also post information about future cleanups as well as updates on its Facebook page.

Twyman said cleanup and the efforts being made to take care of the canyon will ensure that other visitors and generations can keep enjoying the sights and experiences American Fork Canyon has to offer.

“I had a kid about 1 1/2 [years] ago and I’m thinking, ‘Is this going to be here when he’s old enough to appreciate it, or are we going to lose it by the time he is old enough to enjoy it because of all the trash?’” he said. “So we are hoping to preserve it for the future generations.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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