Focus on the Forest back in full force, holds clean-up event for scouts

Posted at 9:32 PM, Apr 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-28 23:32:48-04

Focus on the Forest was back out in full force on Saturday at Pike National Forest.
This time, they called on scouts of all ages to join their clean-up efforts along Rainbow Falls.

It’s the first major clean-up for  since the non-profit’s truck and compacter suffered some damage last month.
While it gets repaired, Teller County Waste donated this roll-off to collect trash, which they also pick up and dispose of…

The contribution is making it possible for this organization to continue its mission of taking back the forest, while teaching youth along the way.

Saturday’s clean-up was mainly a scout event.

"About just the getting the kids involved, getting them back to caring about not throwing trash," said Shawn Nielsen, the founder and executive director of Focus on the Forest.

He was expecting a couple dozen people but more than 90 kids and parents showed up. 
Among them: Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and different Boy Scout groups.

Nicholas Conlin, a Boy Scout with Troop 43, roamed the foots and hills of the mountains to get to all the scraps left behind.

"I honestly thought there would be less trash in the forest," Conlin said. 
"We just cleaned up a little part of the forest and there were a decent amount of buckets filled and they’re pretty big buckets so it’s hard to think about what the rest of the world is like."

What’s more important: this isn’t meant to feel like a task but, rather, an outdoor adventure.

"When they’re walking through and they find something interesting," said Nielsen.
"It builds their excitement over the whole thing."

An adventure with a lesson to be learned.

"I take forward just to pick up trash that you see and if you’re going out camping, pick up all the trash around your camp," said Conlin.

Just as other generations have also learned.

"It’s really surprising how people just really somehow think that you know, mother nature will clean it up and she doesn’t," said Troop 43’s Assistant Scout Master Jessica Godsoe.

"It takes us to keep our forest clean and healthy."

Focus on the forest will host another clean-up at Rainbow Falls aiming to be a festival-like event for the whole community to join.

The date for the clean-up is May 19 and you can register here.