Press Releases

Granite Gear Grounds Keeper Alex Wehrle Picks Up 2,020 Pounds of Trash

From Trails, Parks, and Waterways


Two Harbors, MN — October 29, 2020 — Leave it better. For the Granite Gear Grounds Keeper team of 31, this year was all about that mission and more. Despite the barrage of challenges this year brought, the 4th generation of Grounds Keepers pressed on in their goal to pick up trash. Alongside sponsors Klean Kanteen, Big Agnes, Kula Cloth, Astral, Food for the Sole, Recover Brand, UCO, and Public Lands Coffee, Granite Gear supported 31 diverse hikers and paddlers who committed to cleaning up our wild places in 2020. The team has removed over 6,189.11 pounds of trash from our country’s trails, parks and waterways. Since 2017, Grounds Keeper members have removed over 16,600 pounds (and counting) of trash from our public lands.

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Legacy Grounds Keeper Alex Wehrle set a lofty goal for herself to pick up 2,020 pounds of trash in 2020 and as of this week, she completed that goal. Alex primarily cleaned up areas around San Diego. To stay safe during the pandemic, she consistently used a mask, reusable gloves, and a trash grabber.

“A goal to clean up 2,020 lbs of trash in 2020, what a journey,” says, Alex Wehrle, “Trail clean ups led to neighborhood dog walk clean ups which led to overpopulated trails and beach clean ups – for 85 clean ups in total. Mask, gloves on, trash grabber in hand; I spent most of the year cleaning up a beach in much need of some love. With little regulation and opportunity for reaching the beach by vehicle, I came across some of the weirdest trash treasures… one being a church pew, found on an eerie foggy morning. Although this goal is reached, the journey is just beginning! You’ll always find me with a trash bag in hand helping leave our outdoor spaces better.”

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General Manager, Rob Coughlin, says, “Picking up 2,020 lbs of trash in a year is an incredible feat. Alex accomplishing this in 2020 while navigating a global pandemic, fires, and the rest of the insanity out there is downright awe-inspiring. I’m so grateful to call her a friend. I salute Alex and all the Grounds Keepers of 2020!”

In 2020, Granite Gear introduced the Grounds Keepers “Legacy Team” including ten previous year’s rockstars, alongside twenty new team members. A sincere thank you goes out to the 2020 Grounds Keepers team who worked tirelessly to clean up our wild spaces and to promote the “leave it better” mission throughout all of the hardship that 2020 brought their way: Seth Orme, Paul Twedt, Britany Freeman, Alex Wehrle, Andrew Forestell, Sunshine State Seekers, Jen Theisen, Steven Snyder, Julie Hukriede, Leland Kolson, Jenny Bruso, Jen Potts, Ari Leach, Cat Curtis, Ben Vaughan, Danny Murphy, Daniel White, Paul Kautz, Sarah Wilson, Hannah Edstrom, Kelsey Semrod, Reece Thompson, Todd Lee, Ashley Bredemus, Marlee Jennings, Tyler Lau, Cliford Mervil, Suzanne Hassanein, Hatie Parmeter, Devin Holmes. #GroundsKeeper4Life

The application for the 2021 program will go live in November. For more information on the Grounds Keepers program, contact Julie Bacon at julie@hotskilletmedia.com or visit www.thegroundskeepers.org.

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, or Instagram. Learn about Granite Gear’s Grounds Keepers program here.