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Refresh The Rims brings good turnout for cleanup

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Posted at 9:53 AM, Oct 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-17 11:53:39-04

About 150 people came out Saturday for an annual tradition in Billings, the 9th Annual Refresh The Rims event.

It's a chance to pick up some trash and clean up and also a great opportunity for some students at MSUB.

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Students in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program instructed groups on the plan for the cleanup.

"By taking charge of this group and helping to facilitate the cleanup of the Rims, then it just goes toward our degree," said Richard Cassidy, MSUB student. "And helps us get experience with leading a group of people, whether that's one or 23 or 100."

"I want to go into conservation as a park ranger, which is why I'm in this degree," said Lauren Chancellor, MSUB student. "So I think it's awesome being out here picking up trash, you know, making the rims pretty. It's part of the prettiest spot in Billings."

"The students get an opportunity to plan this event and practice their opening remarks and talk about risk management and group management," said Lynne Fitzgerald, MSUB associate professor. "And then they get to come out here and practice outside during a low-risk activity."

Fitzgerald is the coordinator of the program.

"This practicing with the group management, the risk management, and speaking to the group is valuable for them," she said.

It's worked well for the students in the city.

"It's just great to see the community turn out and come and help clean it up and refresh it," said Paul Reinhardt, City of Billings parks community outreach coordinator.

Reinhart says cleanup is in about a five-mile stretch from near the airport to Swords Park.

"We can't quite get the views anywhere else in Billings that you can up here," Reinhardt said. "It's easy to access. There's lots of places to walk and hike, it's family friendly. So it's just a really great park."

"To have this, to have Phipps Park, to have Zimmerman Park, Swords Park—you know, all those things need care and attention," said Kevin Odenthal, Billings TrailNet board member. "And fortunately, people are willing to step up and do that. That's a great thing."

"It's inspiring to see the number of people that showed up to help clean up the rims," Cassidy said.

"I just appreciate the community coming out and supporting our efforts," Fitzgerald said.

"It's something that we hope continues long into the future," Reinhardt said.