Local snowmobile club to lead cleanup effort at Keyhole State Park Saturday

An aerial view of the cliffs in Keyhole State Park (Photo courtesy of WSGS)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A growing littering problem at a popular hangout at a nearby state park has prompted a local club to take things into their own hands- literally.

Evan Thompson, president of 307 Snowmobile Riders, told County 17 on Thursday that his group will be heading a cleanup effort in the Coulter Bay area of Keyhole State Park on July 30.

The effort was inspired after the group received a photo from one of their members showing a hole in the cliffs, a popular hangout area in the park, packed with garbage.

“People have just been throwing beer bottles and beer cans and all kinds of garbage in there,” Thompson said, adding that the garbage in the hole appears to be around 4-feet deep.

Trash buildup in a hole at the cliffs in Keyhole State Park (307 Snowmobile Riders)

It’s a problem that 307 Snowmobile Riders hopes to resolve before it becomes an even bigger issue.

“The way we kind of looked at this Keyhole deal is that if nobody wants to take care of it, the park’s just going to shut that area down,” he said. “Nobody is going to have any cliffs to jump off or anyplace to go and hang out and have fun out there.”

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Supporting efforts to avoid shutdowns and recreation restrictions is a major part of his club’s goal, Thompson said, such as supporting snowmobile association efforts to keep mountains open to snowmobilers despite efforts to close them.

The area in question, Thompson said, is one of the few popular hangout spots in Keyhole State Park without any garbage cans readily available and if there were some placed by the cliffs, they would address some of the problem.

“I really think that it would help if they put up a couple of garbage cans,” he said. “It would definitely collect some of it and keep it out of the lake, which is always a good thing.”

Efforts to get trash receptacles placed by the cliffs, however, have not been successful with the state park citing budgetary concerns, leaving the clean-up effort to groups like Thompson’s.

The effort begins at 10 a.m. Saturday morning; the group will meet at the cliffs, and anyone is welcome to meet up and help, according to Thompson, who said that it doesn’t matter if someone stays for five minutes or hours, any effort helps.