Dozens of local volunteers decided to take matters into their own hands after seeing Gunlock State Park trashed with litter by visitors over the weekend. They gathered Tuesday morning to help park rangers clean it up.

The effort was spearheaded by St. George resident Tony Engel, who recently moved to the area with his family four years. He said they’ve fallen in love with Southern Utah and frequently spend time outdoors.

“It’s all about recreation. That’s why we decided to stay here because of the beauty, the red sand, nature, and the outdoor lifestyle. You’ll catch us at Sand Hollow, Quail, Zion, Snow Canyon, or Gunlock,” he said.

But on Sunday when his family went boating at Gunlock State Park, he said he saw the area trashed with litter.

“It was tremendously frustrating. It just broke my heart seeing all the trash. It comes down to being irresponsible. Most people I know are raised to ‘pack it in, pack it out’ and we’re not seeing that. You top that off with the fact that we could use some more waste facilities at these state parks,” said Engel.

Jon Allred, Manager at Gunlock State Park said they saw an influx of visitors over the weekend, some from out of the area.

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