Posted by: Ross Leonhart
As the country’s most celebrated festival of adventure sports, art and music, the GoPro Mountain Games are a summer showcase of the rivers and lands that make Vail, Colorado, so special to live, work and play in. From kayaking to stand-up paddleboarding to fly-fishing, the local waterways are a major part of the Mountain Games each summer.
The Vail Valley Foundation — organizers of the annual GoPro Mountain Games each summer — is committed to taking care of the lands and rivers we all enjoy as part of the nonprofit’s dedicated history of environmental stewardship. On Saturday, Sept. 10, VVF staff, Mountain Games volunteers and AmeriCorps members joined the Eagle River Watershed Council’s River Cleanup for a day of service. In 2022, the GoPro Mountain Games launched its Protect Our Playground initiative — which includes waste diversion, recycling, composting, eliminating single-use containers, educational outreach and days of service, including the recent River Cleanup.
More than 60 volunteers signed up as members of the Mountain Games team for the River Cleanup, which nets nearly 20 tons of trash each year from local waterways thanks to upwards of 200 volunteers. The Mountain Games team was split into eight groups and assigned different sections of the river to clean, including three sections of Gore Creek and the Eagle River where GoPro Mountain Games whitewater and fishing competitions are held each June. Another group from the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365 brought out local high school students who focused on boat ramps in the area.
“The GoPro Mountain Games are a celebration of the outdoors that we all know and love, and so it’s fitting that we do our part to Protect Our Playground,” said Ross Leonhart, media chief of the GoPro Mountain Games. “Thanks to the Eagle River Watershed Council for organizing the annual River Cleanup, and to all of the volunteers who spent their weekend cleaning up our local waterways. We look forward to continuing these types of efforts in the future.”
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