A collection of off-road enthusiasts and off-roading organizations are launching a ‘National Trail Clean-Up Day,’ which has been scheduled for the weekend of July 18-19.
As part of her duties with SEMA’s Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) Council, Wendy Miles of THE SHOP recently had the opportunity to talk to Matt Martelli, CEO and co-owner of The Mint 400. The pair discussed their shared passion for maintaining trails and off-highway areas on public lands, specifically the ‘Mint 400 Desert Clean Up’ event that took place before the Mint 400. From there, the idea for a national clean-up day was born, organizers said.
The event is scheduled to take place July 18-19, and everyone is welcome to participate.
Not only will this event help to keep trails and other off-highway areas clean and well-maintained, organizers say, it is also an opportunity to show that the off-highway community cares about the environmental impact of improper trail use, including littering and deviating from marked trails. The event also aims to help connect novice users with a community of like-minded groups that can educate them on proper trail etiquette and responsible use while having a great time on public lands.
“It is paramount that the off-road community take a leadership role in the stewardship of our lands. We not only want to maintain trails for future generations, we want to set a standard for others to follow. We encourage all off-road enthusiasts to get involved by organizing in their local area to turn this weekend into a national, then global trail clean-up day. I will lead a group in San Diego and be picking up trash myself,” stated Martelli.
Several organizations are working together for this event. Fred Wiley, president and CEO of the Off Road Business Association (ORBA), is excited to be a part of National Trail Clean-Up Day and help focus on cleaning-up and maintaining OHV areas around the country, he said, adding that ORBA industry and association members will be stepping up to support and participate in this great event.
“I want to thank Wendy and Matt for pulling this together on short notice and recognizing and showing to the rest of the world that we not only talk the talk, but we walk the walk and make it happen,” Wiley said.
“As part of being on the board of the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), I am aware of the struggle the motorized community faces at both a state and national level to maintain access to the trails in our public lands. It is my hope that this event will show the continued commitment of 4×4, powersports and snowmobile communities to reduce the environmental impact while enjoying the trails and getting to experience our beautiful lands more closely than from the interstate or highway,” stated Miles.
Duane Taylor, executive director of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, also urged off-road enthusiasts to participate.
“NOHVCC encourages all OHV enthusiasts to be active in trail maintenance and clean-up activities. It is not only necessary to ensure our lands, public and private, remain open for our continued use and for our posterity – it is the right thing to do. If you can safely participate in the National Clean Up Day, we urge you to do so. If not, remember some vital clean-up activities are massive in scale, but it remains important to join in by simply collecting any trash you find along the trail and packing it out – every little bit helps.”
Those interested can use the event’s Facebook page or Instagram to indicate their group’s interest, request information or find groups with which to participate. Participating groups must be aware of and observe the current COVID-19 protocols in their area for the day of the event in addition to normal trail clean-up safety precautions.