By Melissa Garcia

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – A group of Coloradans came together to pick up trash in the South Platte River and surrounding area near Interstate 25 and Speer Boulevard.

(credit: CBS)

The project, called “Explore Refresh Protect,” was part of a new partnership between Coors Light and Leave No Trace of Boulder.

(credit: CBS)

About 50 volunteers walked two miles along the river filling bags full with trash from the area covered in brush. Volunteers also pulled discarded items from the water, including scooters and shopping carts.

(credit: CBS)

Melissa Horning picked up garbage on the bank with her two young sons.

“A lot of candy bar wrappers… That’s what we’re finding, and a lot of cigarette butts,” Horning told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

Eugene Horning, 9, and his little brother Jace Horning, 7, pitch in to clean the city’s parks and open spaces several times a year.

(credit: CBS)

“We spend all our summer on the river. And so it’s our time to clean up,” Horning said.

The family is leading by example and hoping that others pick up on the program.

“Just get out and do it,” Horning said. “Because we’re the reason the trash is here in the first place.”

(credit: CBS)

“We want to make the world more clean,” Jace said. “I don’t like trash to be, like, overflowing the world.”

Neither does Dana Watts, Executive Director of Leave No Trace of Boulder.

“It’s really just a message about caring for the outdoors. And here are specific ways to do it,” Watts said. “These places are really popular. So we’re here to clean them up and make sure they’re healthy for future generations.”

The local organization was choosing two of Saturday’s volunteers as scholarship recipients for its master training program to teach others how to take care of the environment.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to

  1. Brian O'Malley says:

    A great day our for a great cause!