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Highland Trail Foundation has Springtime Clean Up event event

Submitted photo Imre Barsy and Miki Gain filled 10 bags and pulled several tires and other debris from the hillside near Highland Park in Randolph County during the Highland Trail Foundation’s Springtime Rail Trail Clean Up.

ELKINS — The Highland Trail Foundation recently held its Springtime Rail Trail Clean Up as volunteers from throughout the area did their part to make the event a success.

The clean up, which was organized by HTF treasurer Karen Carper and HTF AmeriCorps member Jessica Black, saw 38 volunteers put in more than 100 hours of work to make the trail shine for those who use it for the many different outdoor recreation activities it offers.

“We were really pleased with the number of people who came out to help,” Carper said. “We had all ages and sizes of people give us a hand and we were grateful for the support. The thing that made it successful was the response of the volunteers and the interest from the community. That’s what made it happen.”

Carper said people are tired of being cooped up and that social media played a big part in recruiting people to come out and help with the event.

“The activity on Facebook really surprised me,” she said. “We got a lot of attention with it and I think people are just really ready to get out and do things together. Especially when it comes to making a difference in their communities after they kind of have been sitting on their hands for more than a year.”

Many items, such as tires, a 55-gallon drum, and pieces of scrap metal, were collected on the route that saw volunteers working from Elkins to Hendricks.

“There are still a couple of places that need extra attention,” Carper said. “We’ve identified those areas and I have been in touch with the DEP to get some help on that because some of it is beyond what a volunteer can do. I would be concerned about their safety.”

The Highlands Trail Foundation also received support from the West Virginia Division of Highways and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Adopt a Highway Program. Highway maintenance crews picked up bags on the trail after the event, which was held during West Virginia’s Adopt A Highway Statewide Spring Clean Up.

Anyone interested in volunteering for more extensive clean up efforts should contact the Highlands Trail Foundation at highlandstrailwv@gmail.com or message the group on Facebook.

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