DENVER (CBS4)– A Denver resident has attracted dozens of volunteers in an effort to clean up Rocky Mountain National Park. When Michael LaNue learned about trash building up at the national park during the federal government shutdown, he knew that he wanted to help.

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Trash has been growing there since December, when the shutdown placed many employees onto furloughs.

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“The thing that drove me to want to go pick up trash was really just the ignorance and people thinking that the lack of supervision meant that they can… disregard any of the laws.”

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On Wednesday, LaNue posted on the social media site Reddit, asking for volunteers to meet at the park to pick up trash.

Within one day, he said the response was overwhelming.

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“It really just turned in to this entire slew of people, National Park Service employees responding to the Reddit as well,” LaNue said.

Volunteers will meet at the Longs Peak trailhead at 10 a.m. Saturday to hike in.

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“The Junk Trunk” is the latest Denver business to volunteer in the efforts to clean up the park. Nathan Schweid, the company’s owner, plans to fill a box truck full of trash.

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“With every negative situation like that comes a positive one, so we’re happy to be able to help out,” Schweid told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

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“Volunteers will go up. They’ll pick up items, they’ll load them up in their vehicles to ultimately be dropped off in our trucks,” Schweid said.

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The Junk Trunk will transport trash to the dump. As part of a separate, nationwide effort, members of the Libertarian Party of Colorado are planning their own cleanup event on Sunday.

(credit: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A RMNP spokesperson says the park is still accessible during the government shutdown.

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Due to the lack of staffing and emergency services, however, park staff were advising visitors to use caution and enter at their own risk.


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