Highway 65 Cleanup

by John Rasmuson

In 2000 the Rotary Club was ending its highway clean-up project in Parley’s Canyon on the east end of Mountain Dell Reservoir. Hugh Gillilan, a Rotarian and Unitarian, saw it as an opportunity for community service. For the next 10 years, he organized squads of First Church congregants to pick up litter along a scenic, three-mile stretch of Highway 65 north of its intersection with I-80. On two Saturday mornings a year, rain or shine, they scoured the grassy shoulders of the road, filling bags with fast-food detritus, water bottles, diapers, beer cans—even golf balls in surprising numbers.

Frank Steffey replaced Gillilan and led the litter squad until 2016 when Todd Seymour took over.

In 2017, the Unitarian litter squad poses before setting off to clean Highway 65. (l. to r.) Lori Shields, Summer Gunn, Bill Ohlson, Ruth Ohlson, Patti Horton, Nancy Rasmuson and John Rasmuson.

Summer Gunn gives a “thumbs-up” to a morning’s worth of bagged litter.

In 2011, before the sign was moved nearer to East Canyon, twenty volunteers posed at the beginning of the biannual clean-up of Highway 65.