By Michael Abeyta

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A park along US 6 got some mush-needed attention on Saturday. That’s when hundreds of people volunteered to pick up trash in Clear Creek Canyon Park.

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day (credit: CBS)

For a lot of people Clear Creek Canyon is just the road to the casinos, but it’s actually much more.

“Most people use this space as a drive through and so we’re just using this day to shine a light on that it’s actually a park,” said Matt Robbins, the Community Connections Manager at Jefferson County Open Space.

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Matt Robbins (credit: CBS)

Saturday is National Public Lands Day and Jefferson County Open Space decided it was the perfect opportunity to gather some volunteers, shut down the highway and beautify the canyon.

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day (credit: CBS)

“This is about a 13-mile stretch of road so we’ve actually dispersed folks every mile and they’re working the roadway and then down off the roadway down to the water’s edge,” said Robbins.

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day (credit: CBS)

Aaron Paul is one of the 600 who signed up to pick up trash. He said the canyon has probably needed some T.L.C. for a while now.

“It’s obvious that people are just throwing things out their window,” said Paul. “I found a lot of things that are really old, so it’s just been piling up for years.”

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Aaron Paul (credit: CBS)

He uses the trails in the canyon regularly and says he wishes the people doing all the dumping cold see the damage they are doing.

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day (credit: CBS)

“I mean obviously it’s frustrating. I imagine the folks who are littering, and not all of it is intentional but the vast majority of it… I imagine they are not out here cleaning it up,” said Paul.

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day

Clear Creek Canyon gets cleaned up for National Public Lands Day (credit: CBS)

A lot of what volunteers picked up was micro trash or little pieces of garbage that might fall out of your pack while hiking or your getting in and out of the car. While the hundreds that gave their time and effort Saturday can’t stop people from littering they can pick up after them and help our open spaces survive.

“We’re very appreciative,” said Matt.

Michael Abeyta