Across a land battered by mother nature, a plague had spread – trash and debris had nearly overtaken the once-beautiful Sand Creek Regional Greenway. The walking path and recreation area, located in northeast Denver, was almost decimated during the historic Colorado floods of 2013. Last week, the Ethical SEO Consulting team set out to help rescue the public trail.
In September 2013, mother nature unleashed her fury on northern Colorado in a storm of epic proportions. What began as a slow-trickling rain eventually yielded more than 17 inches of rainwater, culminating in a devastating natural disaster. The flood of 2013 necessitated the evacuation of more than 11,000 Coloradans and damaged or destroyed 20,000 homes. Tragically, the floods killed eight people.
The raging flood waters left behind a wake of destruction. Today, cleanup is still underway in many of the affected counties.
On a sunny spring day, a fearless squad of Internet marketers set out to battle the scourge of trash that had polluted the Sand Creek Regional Greenway.
Matt “Trash Devastator” Green
John “Persistence” Van Bockern
Natalie “Never-Back-Down” Nicol
Frank “MacGyver” Scharnell
Our (admittedly motley) crew was up for the challenge of helping revamp the trail and playing a small part in returning the Greenway to its former glory.
Black and Orange Bags
Our guide on this journey was Katie Lampe, the intrepid volunteer manager for Sand Creek Regional Greenway. Her instructions were simple:
“Black is for the trash you find, an orange is for any recycling. Oh, and don’t pick up anything you don’t want to touch.”
We suited up in gloves (it sounded like we were going to need them), grabbed our gear (the black and orange bags), and embarked on our mission (to pick up as much trash as humanly possible).
Matt jumped into action with a black bag, quickly tossing any and all trash in sight. He then spotted something large, black, and round. “Are those… tires?” he pondered aloud. He hoisted them out of the creek bed, and passed them to John. This trace of the flood is now forever gone!
The team continued with their mission, picking up every plastic bag, empty bottle, crushed soda can, cardboard box, paper scrap, and food wrapper. Frank, also known as MacGyver, fashioned a portable trashcan out of a stick and some cord found in Sand Creek itself. Trash pickup was moving faster than ever! The black and orange bags grew heavy with remnants of the storm.
Three Parts Clean-Up, One Part “Persistence”
The warm sun shone down on the band of trash-removing superstars as the day passed. Matt, Frank, and Natalie removed every piece of trash that crossed their paths, even digging into the creek bed to remove debris that had been muddied and buried in the storm.
But one man was determined to return nature to its original state, inspecting Sand Creek with a fine-toothed comb. John made sure there wasn’t a single trace of trash, however small, as he perused the path. His persistence and dedication were almost as prolific as his beard.
Our team met some new friends, even inspiring a few passersby to join in and help out with the mission. After a few hours and several bags of trash removed, we certainly appreciated the help!
A New “Record”
At the conclusion of our mission, we left behind a cleaner Sand Creek Regional Greenway. Our small (but mighty) trash-fighting team tossed nearly 100 pounds of trash and debris (including four used tires and various unmentionables).
Katie told us we hold the record for “Most Trash Picked Up By a Team of Four People on a Thursday Afternoon in March.” We’ll take it!
More Information About the Charity Supported:
Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a non-profit organization that helps to keep the greenway and 14-mile trail along Sand Creek clean, safe, and well-maintained. The organization holds many events during the warmer months, so please check out their website and show your support. Directions to the Greenway, which is easily accessible from Denver, can be found here.
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If you have a community organization that could use our team’s help in Colorado, please suggest it below. We are always looking for organizations to work with to help our community.
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