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Cleaning up Bozeman’s backyard: Volunteers remove 4-6K lbs of trash from Hyalite

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BOZEMAN -

Sunday was a beautiful day in Hyalite on Sunday - made more beautiful by volunteers that helped clean up Bozeman’s popular outdoor haven.

Joshua Garrigues was one of more than 30 volunteers the met at the boat launch at Hyalite to begin the 8th annual clean up,

For Garrigues, the reason he volunteers is simple.

“So that other people can enjoy this area and have fun up here like a lot of other people,” he said.

“Typically on this fall clean up day we will clean up between 4,000-6,000 pounds of garbage and that usually just comes from the trailheads, parking lots and then the shooting areas,” said Joe Josephson, Executive Director of Friends of Hyalite.

People visiting Hyalite often leave behind blankets, sleeping bags, lighter fluid, pants and even toilet paper - and this is just a minute’s walk from the trailhead.

“Trash gets left and things blow around in the wind,” said Wendi Urie, Recreation Program Manager for Bozeman Ranger District. “There is always something that needs a little clean up or some campfire rings that need to be cleaned out.”

Clean up crews hit at least eight to nine trailheads as well as parts of the road.

“Hyalite gets tens of thousands of users every month so with that use comes general use, with the garbage and things that need to be cleaned up,” said Josephson.

All these workers are just volunteers who have it in their heart to want to help keep Montana so beautiful and pristine.

“This is our first year coming up here and helping out and we love the fact that this is happening, that people volunteer to clean up,” said Natasha Fraker. “We want to be a part of it and help keep this place clean.”

"It's a great way to connect with your national forest,” said Urie. “It's a great way to see the ground and meet new people and we often have people that come that are new to the area and want to learn more about Hyalite and the opportunities here.”

Friends of Hyalite also spent the last year working on a map that will show all the recreation spots hidden throughout Hyalite.

“(It) shows all the ski trails, the groomed trails, other ungroomed ski opportunities, some of the ice climbing venues,” said Josephson. “Just general all the different recreation going on at Hyalite.”

If you missed the fall cleanup, Friends of Hyalite will be making the trek back up there in May for their spring cleanup.

Click here for more info.

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