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Volunteers Clean Up Rocky Mountain National Park During Government Shutdown

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – Groups of Coloradans braved the cold Saturday to clean up Rocky Mountain National Park. Volunteers picked up trash in the place of furloughed federal cleaning crews.

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An effort organized last week began when Michael LaNue, a Denver resident, posted on Reddit asking for volunteers.

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A small group of helpers from Denver and Fort Collins met for the task Saturday morning at the Longs Peak Trailhead. They were pleased to find a nonprofit organization had already picked up much of the trash.

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"The Rocky Mountain Conservancy will be doing future events," LaNue said. "And many different organizations, it appears, are getting together with the same goal in mind of cleaning it up."

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With a pickup tool in hand, LaNue headed into the national park.

"We came up here today just really to grab whatever trash we can," LaNue explained.

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"It's quite nice that people come together when the government is shut down to do their part," said Tom Fenwick, a volunteer.

"People are doing what they have to do in a hard time," said Jocelyn LaVallee, a park visitor.

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Checking one can at a time, the caring Coloradans trekked through fresh snow, bagging up trash and replacing trash can liners.

On Sunday, the Libertarian Party of Colorado will hold its own cleanup at Rocky Mountain National Park. Members plan to gather at 10 a.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.

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