GATLINBURG, Tenn. – A father and his young daughter have become the “Government Shutdown Litter Patrol” now that the Great Smoky Mountains have no garbage collection service.
Marc Newland and his daughter Erica are spending their days picking up trash on the trails among the mountain range.
The federal government partially shut down last month after lawmakers and the White House failed to reach an agreement on the amount of border wall money to include in a must-pass spending package.
That means no trash collecting or public bathrooms at state parks.
Newland and his daughter started at the Little Rover and Jake’s Creek trailheads at the Great Smoky Mountains and headed to the Laurel Falls trailhead near Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Newland said collecting garbage was fun and rewarding and they’d like to challenge other hikers to do the same.
“These mountains give so much to so many people,” he said on Facebook. “Imagine if only a fraction of those people decided to give back to the mountains.”