Press Releases

2019 Granite Gear Grounds Keepers Remove 4680 Pounds of Trash

From U.S. Trails, Parks and Waterways


Two Harbors, MN — October 22, 2019 — Trash talk. For a ​Granite Gear ​Grounds Keeper​, it happens regularly. This team of 30 Grounds Keepers, alongside Granite Gear’s local Two Harbors Team, is on a serious mission to clean up the planet. This year, Granite Gear expanded its program to include the cleaning up of waterways and lakes in addition to trails and parks. Alongside sponsors ​Klean Kanteen​, ​Backpacker’s Bistro​, ​Recover Brand​, ​Altra Running​, ​and ​Kula Cloth​, Granite Gear supported 30 passionate hikers and paddlers who committed to cleaning up our wild places in 2019. The 3rd class of ​Grounds Keepers removed over 4,680 pounds of trash from our country’s trails, parks and waterways. Since 2017, Grounds Keepers members have removed over 9,670 pounds (and counting) of trash from our public lands. A large portion of the trash picked up has been micro trash like bottle caps and wrappers.

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“Being a part of the Granite Gear Grounds Keepers 2019 has impacted my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” says Perry Cohen, Founder of ​Venture Out Project​. “From the most simple things like giving me a reason to get outside and hit the trails on rainy days when I might prefer to lounge about inside, to noticing just how much micro trash there is – especially near trailheads, to seeing just how much toilet paper is left in our natural spaces. But perhaps the thing that impacted me most about being a Grounds Keeper was the way that it helped me see that natural spaces are so much more than just trails on big mountains. I learned to find trails within cities and neighborhoods. I learned just how much green is in a park. And I met so many people who, though they didn’t consider themselves outdoorsy, would go outside each and every day for a walk in a green space.”

Perry continues, “I met people along the trail who’d ask what I was doing, who’d offer to help pick up trash, or take a photo of me. I found that by stopping on a trail to pick up a stray wrapper or bag of dog poop, I made the trash visible to others. I noticed they would stop and pick up micro trash. It seemed as though seeing someone else caring for the trails made people take pause and think about their own impact, even if it was only for a second.”

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A sincere thank you goes out to the inspirational 2019 Grounds Keepers team who worked tirelessly to clean up our wild spaces and to promote the “leave it better” mission​: Gabriella Allen, Tim Barton, Jason Batson, Marissa Bluestein, Austin Breen, Ethan Brown, Perry Cohen of Venture Out Project, Tyler Davidson, Kate Emmons, Alexa Everson, Britany Freeman of 11 Essential, Patrick Ganpath, Christina Hickman, Josh Johnson, Michelle Martin, Katie Martinez, Chris Mejia, Lance Ness, Aaron Oschea of Midwest Color Camp, Zach Rohe, Deirdre Rosenberg, Sunshine State Seekers Chelsey Warren and Chris Stevens, Jen Theisen, Patrick Thoits, Agnes Vianzon of Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps, Quang Vo, Doug Walters, Alex Wehrle, Thea Wingert. ​To our Two Harbors Team: Julie Hukriede, Derrick & Cheryl Passe, Rachel Batt, Heidi Dean, Carrie Coan, Alyssa Hastings, Erin Mecklin, Eli Hastings. #​ GroundsKeeper4Life

The application for the 2020 program is ​currently live and will close on November 15th. In 2020, Granite Gear introduces the Grounds Keepers “Legacy Team” including ten previous year’s rockstars, alongside twenty new team members. Sponsors include ​Klean Kanteen​, ​Food for the Sole​, ​Recover Brand​, ​UCO​, ​TerraCycle ​and ​Kula Cloth​. ​New for 2020, Grounds Keepers will be encouraged to recycle their collected waste streams via TerraCycle’s services. TerraCycle supports the Grounds Keeper passions, goals and mission fully and looks forward to being a resource for Leave No Trace practices.

Visit ​www.thegroundskeepers.org to learn more about the program and follow along at #TheGroundsKeepers and the Grounds Keepers ​Instagram​. ​Granite Gear (@GraniteGear) and all brand partners share stories from Grounds Keepers often. For more information on the Grounds Keepers program or sponsors, please email Julie Bacon at jbacon@granitegear.com.

About Granite Gear

For 33 years, ​Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor marketplace. 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. You can find out more about Granite Gear on their ​site​, Facebook​, ​Twitter​ or ​Instagram​.