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Glitter bombs, confetti eggs litter picnic site at Jefferson County mountain park

Park rangers had to use rakes to slowly gather the small bits of trash.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Visitors to a Jeffco Open Space park left a mess behind of glitter and confetti this past weekend.

A maintenance team and park rangers spent several hours cleaning and picking up small pieces of confetti at Lair o’ the Bear Park. Video from picnic sites showed the litter left behind from Easter weekend on public lands. Rangers had to use rakes to slowly gather the small bits of trash.

Mary Ann Bonnell, director of visitor services and natural resources for Jeffco Open Space, said "it's a lot to clean up" but that rangers and other park employees do the work because the trash is a hazard to wildlife, especially if animals try to eat it.

"But also if you think about the visitor experience, none of us what to come to these beautiful places and see trash," Bonnell said. "So leaving that behind, you've trashed the park, and you're making that a trashy view for everybody else."

She said rangers use tweezers and a magnifying glass to try to get every last bit of micro-trash, which is extremely time consuming. She said visitors should feel welcome to celebrate in the parks but to do so responsibly.

"We just want people to do it with something in mind of, we're going to leave the place better than how we found it," she said. "And that does mean not leaving behind micro-trash and litter."

Credit: Jeffco Open Space
Confetti and glitter litter in Jefferson County in 2023.

In 2020, Jefferson County Open Space shared photos of trash left behind from a gender reveal party at Crown Hill Park.

Someone wanted the world to know they are expecting a baby boy, as evidenced by the trail of blue confetti scattered on the ground.

According to Jeffco Open Space, the ranger who found the mess spent three hours raking it already and was due back later to finish.

"Littering is littering, regardless of your baby's gender! If you choose to have a gender reveal party, please do so in a way that does not harm the environment," Jeffco Open Space wrote in a Facebook post. "This little celebration is a violation of regulation C.14. Litter: It shall be unlawful to deposit or leave any refuse, trash or litter in or on Open Space Lands except by depositing such refuse, trash or litter in designated waste receptacles." 

If the person behind the mess is caught, the fine for the crime would be $100.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) asks outdoor recreators to throw all trash away and to help leave our outdoor spaces better than you found them.

"Pack it in, pack it out. Whatever you bring into the outdoors, take it out with you. This includes food waste, toilet paper and dog waste bags," said CPW.

Credit: Jefferson County Open Space
Gender reveal litter in Jefferson County Open Space in 2020.

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