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Keyhole clean-up effort massive success, club looks to do it again next year

GILLETTE, Wyo. — With their first cleanup effort at Keyhole State Park in the books, a local snowmobile rider’s club is looking to make it an annual thing to cut down on litter.

Around 20 people showed up at the Coulter Bay cliffs at Keyhole on July 30, days after the 307 Riders Snowmobile Club announced they were heading an effort to cleanup widespread littering at the popular lake hangout, according to Club President Evan Thompson, who said most of those people were volunteers from Pine Haven.

The group got everything they could— around 20 55-gallon trash bags worth of litter— though there were some spots they couldn’t reach because the openings between the rocks were too narrow or the trash was stuffed down too deep, Thompson said.

(307 Riders Snowmobile Club/Brooklynne)

The only issue they ran into was the broken glass, which cut open garbage bags when they tried to clean it up, according to Thompson, who said that his club is brainstorming ideas on how to clean it up from the top of the rocks to keep people from cutting their feet.

Thompson said his group, while seriously considering making an annual visit to the cliffs to pick up trash, isn’t looking to expand their efforts to other areas in the park.

The only real problem area, according to park staff, is the Coulter Bay cliffs, Thompson said.

A volunteer brought a pressure washer to the party which was instrumental in removing offensive graffiti (307 Riders Snowmobile Club/Brooklynne)

While dumpsters are available near the parking area, the level of consistent trash accumulation suggests that people are not as willing to haul their garbage up from the cliffs as they are to haul items down to them, Thompson said.

Park concerns over potential vandalism, Thompson continued, is preventing the park from installing trash cans closer to the cliffs which could be at risk of destruction or being shoved into the lake by visitors.

Additionally, per Thompson, park staff can’t spare the manpower to constantly monitor the trash cans to prevent anything from happening to them nor can they spare someone to regularly empty the trash cans.

Park staff do, however, walk the tops of the cliffs and gather between one and five trash bags full of litter, though employee safety regulations prevent them from climbing down between the rocks like Thompson’s group on Saturday.

“They were pretty happy that we were out there doing that,” Thompson said.

If people want to get involved in next year’s effort, or want to join his club, Thompson asks that they send a message to the 307 Riders Snowmobile Club’s Facebook page.