By Michael Abeyta

MILLIKEN, Colo. (CBS4)– The day after Thanksgiving is typically a big day for huge sales and considered the official start for the holiday shopping season. But not everyone wants to spend their weekend at the store.

Mark Evans isn’t a Black Friday shopping kind of guy, “You know it’s not what I want to do, but who am I to say that’s bad.”

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What he did want to do on Friday was get outdoors.

“I’m getting my dose of vitamin D getting some exercise and these are fun people and it’s a good thing to help make this river better,” said Evans.

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He’s just one of dozens of people who came to Milliken with the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers Friday to help plant willows along the banks of the Platte River. Kevin Shuck, the Director of Programs with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, explains Colorado’s rivers still need a lot of help after the 2013 floods.

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“A lot of these riverbanks have been scoured after the flood, so our other partners are coming in and realigning the channels and reconnecting it to the flood plains and so we are coming in with our volunteers to now bring back a lot of the native vegetation,” said Shuck.

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Mark Evans (credit: CBS)

The willows will prevent erosion and provide a natural habitat for local wildlife. For folks like Mark, this Black Friday project gives them a chance to help Mother Nature. It also offers a reprieve from the jungle that is the mall, shopping center or parking lot on Black Friday.

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If that sounds like something you would like too, he has an open invitation for anyone interested, “Come and join us for the next one.”

Anyone who wants to be involved can register under the volunteer link online at Wildlands Restoration Volunteers.

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LINK: Wildlands Restoration Volunteers

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.