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Over 50 Pounds of Gum Scraped from Seats at Red Rocks in 2023


Over 50 Pounds of Gum Scraped from Seats at Red Rocks in 2023

In the picturesque surroundings of Red Rocks Park Amphitheatre, a unique cleanup effort is underway, led by the unsung heroes of the Friends of Red Rocks. This dedicated nonprofit organization, established in 1999, has been working tirelessly to preserve the natural beauty and integrity of this iconic venue. Their mission, initiated in response to a proposal that threatened the amphitheater’s aesthetic with corporate branding, has evolved to tackle various conservation tasks, including an unusual yet significant challenge: gum removal.

Despite the clear prohibition of gum at the venue, patrons continue to leave behind their chewed gum under seats, posing a sticky situation for the amphitheater. Recognizing the need for action, venue director Tad Bowman called attention to the gum accumulation issue about three years ago. Since then, volunteers have committed to spending three hours each month, not only aiding in trail maintenance and native garden care but also engaging in the meticulous task of scraping gum from under the amphitheater’s seats.

The persistence of this issue, despite the ban, underscores the challenge of regulating small, easily concealed items like gum. The aim is for visitors to enjoy their chew responsibly and dispose of it properly, avoiding the unsightly and disrespectful act of sticking it under seats. In 2023 alone, the volunteer gum-scraping crew collected an astonishing 50 pounds of gum, highlighting the ongoing struggle against litter in even the concert-free winter months.

The Friends of Red Rocks are continually looking to expand their ranks with more volunteers passionate about preserving the amphitheater’s splendor. Those interested in contributing to this unique conservation effort can sign up online or participate in the monthly cleanup sessions, a testament to the community’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of one of nature’s most magnificent concert venues.

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