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Granite Gear’s Grounds Keepers Collect 10,000 Pounds of Trash in 1 Year

October 21, 2022

Leaving it better since 2017

Two Harbors, MN — October 21, 2022 /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Since 2017, Granite Gear has sponsored a diverse group of hikers, paddlers, and nature lovers who pack out trash year-round. They spread the word about cleaning up our planet, whether that be green spaces in a city, beaches, national parks, or local campgrounds. This year’s crew of Grounds Keepers have certainly stayed committed to leaving their environment better than they found it. They took this mission to the next level, surpassing 10,000 pounds of trash picked up this year. This brings the team’s total to over 35,000 pounds packed out since the inception of the program. The majority of that is micro trash, including bar wrappers, bottle lids, and toilet paper.

“It’s hard to fathom what the Grounds Keepers have accomplished this year. 5 tons of trash. The estimated weight equivalent of 250,000 plastic bottles packed out by hand,” says Sales and Marketing Manager, Julie Bacon, “We are so grateful for the hard work from everyone involved and the huge impact that this program continues to have nationwide.”

Grounds Keeper Retha “Pikachu” Charette is nearing her 1,000 pound goal for 2022 and says, “I’ve always picked up trash while hiking, but being a member of the Grounds Keepers lets me know I’m not alone. Being an advocate for Mother Earth can be tough sometimes and being part of this team reminds me that a few dedicated people really do make a difference.”

Out of hundreds of applicants, the Grounds Keepers were chosen based on their passion for the outdoors, cleanup goals, commitment to DEI initiatives, and outdoor experience. With the collective mission to leave our planet better, the 2022 team includes: Felicia Kemp, Retha Charette, Bradlee Jeffrey, Carmen Pérez, Whitney Christen, Andrew Stone, Rachel Shoemaker, Heather Daigle, Dru Falco, Amity Quinones, Yolande Webster, Julie Hukriede, Quang Vo, Peg Keiner, and Kaitlin Musser. Applications for the 2023 team will open up in November.

“You would not think hauling out pounds of other people’s garbage off of public lands would be a way of healing. We applied as Grounds Keepers because our legal guardian son wanted to leave the wild ways better than he found them. His love became our love and when we painfully said goodbye after raising him for nine years, this love kept us from falling apart. Yes, pick up trash. Stand against climate change. Protect our public lands. But mostly remember this was one little boy’s love. It really is about love,” says Kaitlin Musser, who has packed out 6,007 pounds of trash this year and counting.

The 2022 team of 15 Grounds Keepers has been supported by the following sponsors: Sawyer, Astral, Food for the Sole, Katabatic Gear, Kula Cloth, Hikers Brew, Lava Linens, UCO, and Hibear. Granite Gear is thrilled to have a strong coalition of companies supporting this initiative.

Granite Gear and brand partners share stories from the Grounds Keepers often. For more information on the Grounds Keepers program, please email Julie Bacon at jbacon@granitegear.com.

About Granite Gear
For 36 years, Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor industry. Their award-winning backpacks, adventure travel gear, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear’s desire is for all outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to experience the incredible durability and comfort of their products. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, they have a rugged and beautiful testing ground for their products. Learn more at granitegear.com and follow along on Instagram.