PUEBLO — The Pueblo Riverwalk is looking a little bit cleaner after Earth Day 2021.
“Great opportunity for our staff to come out and beautify Pueblo!” said Robert Simpson, the General Manager for the Velocity Tour with the Professional Bull Riders.
PBR, whose headquarters are in Pueblo, began an initiative called 21 in 21. The company provides their employees with 21 hours off of work to spend doing community service. Cleaning planters at the Pueblo Riverwalk on Earth Day was the group's first official opportunity to receive volunteer hours.
“For a company to really say - Hey, we are going to give you time off to go out in the community, and provide community service, and help, and be alongside your neighbors… That's a great effort,” said Simpson.
HAPPY EARTH DAY 🌎 💚 #RightNow Different groups are down at the #Pueblo Riverwalk doing different projects to help keep our community beautiful! We’ll be highlighting them tonight on @KOAA at 4:00 & 5:00! pic.twitter.com/h6UdjaaAZN— Natalie Chuck KOAA (@NatalieChuck) April 22, 2021
PBR isn't the only group in the community donating their time to clean up. "Keeping Pueblo Beautiful" is a recently formed Facebook page, organizing cleanups around the city frequently.
“I was surprised at how many people were wanting to join it! Definitely, immediately had a lot of support with that which was nice to see," said Seraiah Apelian, noting the positive responses they have received since founding the Facebook group.
On Earth Day, members met at the Pueblo Riverwalk just down from PBR's gathering to pickup as much trash as possible.
“We’re just kind of here with the goal of getting some trash cleaned up and getting the community looking nicer!” said Apelian.
Apelian and their partner moved to Pueblo back in 2019. They say they have always had a passion for activism and kept noticing trash throughout the community, so they wanted to donate their time to try and help better Pueblo's environment.
“Seems like small change, but when everybody starts doing those efforts it really does build up!“
Apelian says anyone who wants to get involved with "Keeping Pueblo Beautiful" is welcome to contact them over Facebook. They hopes the group will become more solidified within the community and encourages any businesses who may want the area around them cleaned up to reach out as well.