COLORADO SPRINGS — Transforming trash into a pristine piece of treasure. This 6-foot-tall project in Colorado Springs combines art and the environment to turn one man’s litter into a powerful message.

The goal is to draw attention to the amount of trash being thrown on the ground. That’s the idea behind the second annual Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project. And one resident says it really captured her attention. “This is a good way to influence people to look around and pick up something that they’re seeing and make our city even more beautiful,” said Cindy Senger.

Using litter collected around the Pikes Peak Region, volunteers spelled out the word ‘pristine’, something they want their parks and trails to look like. Organizers are hoping this art project encourages efforts to keep our local environment clean. “The littering issue is very big and very diverse. We have a very windy community so days like today, winds start blowing and it could pick up litter moving it from the land to our waterways. We find all kinds of trash out there,” said Alli Schuch. Schuch is the Watershed Outreach Coordinator for the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District.

The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance started the event, which is modeled after the national Litter Letter Project. “I love this community, but sometimes I’m just shocked by the amount of trash I see out and about,” said Andy Vick, the Executive Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region.

That’s why the community pulled together, participating in several clean-ups throughout local trails and parks during Creek Week, which runs from September 28th to October 6th. “Hopefully going forward we’ll do this every year, add new letters, create new words. All with the goal of celebrating Arts Month and inspiring stewardship for our outdoor spaces,” said Vick.

You can check out the Pristine installation during October in celebration of Arts Month. The project sits just off Cimarron Street, east of I-25, and south of America the Beautiful Park.

There’s still time to participate in Creek Week to help clean local parks, trails and waterways in the Pikes Peak Region. Events are happening until Sunday, October 6th. “Creek Week is a great way to take an hour or two of their time and give back to those parks and trails and waterways that we so enjoy. It’s much nicer to go out there and not see litter and to make a really big difference in a short amount of time,” said Schuch.

You’re also invited to support this project though a social media contest on Instagram, by using the hashtag #PikesPeakLitterLetters to show how you help keep your community pristine.

To learn more about how you can join in the Litter Letter Project, visit 2019 Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project