Two dozen volunteers recently braved 100 degree temperatures to pick up bags full of litter, broken glass, diapers and waste from Green River's Crystal Geyser.
Located eight miles south east of Green River, the geyser was accidentally created in 1935 when an oil test well hit a large pocket of carbon dioxide gas.
The result was a spectacular and very rare cold water geyser that erupts two or three times a day, occasionally reaching heights as much as 80 feet. Highly mineralized waters have created a spectacular bench of rust-colored travertine reaching down to the edge of the river. Since it began erupting, it has attracted thousands of sightseers each year (many of whom wait hours to witness the spectacle), the river runners commonly use the area as a launch site when running Labyrinth Canyon.
Lacking any trash receptacles or restrooms, the area surrounding the geyser has felt the impact from so many visitors. The city of Green River, which now owns Crystal Geyser, is taking steps to correct the situation. The area is to be developed as a scenic park, with plans for picnic tables, barbecue grills, a covered pavilion (there currently are no shaded areas), trash barrels, and a pit toilet. Grant money is being solicited from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, and donations of facilities, manpower and additional funding are being sought.
Before these plans can become reality, however, a real need existed for a thorough clean-up of the area. Enter Kirk Dunham, pastor of the Green River Community Church, and 23 members of a youth group hailing from Texas and Green River. For three hours on a blazing hot day, the group stooped, scooped and finished up pooped, but their efforts were very productive, removing an estimated 60 pounds of litter.