Last month, more than 100 passionate environmental enthusiasts from KEEN Footwear and Zappos teamed up with Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the National Park Service to visit Nevada’s newest national monument, Tule Springs Fossil Beds. The day’s mission was to help clean up an area of the park that continues to be littered by careless folks practicing illegal dumping, fireworks, target shooting and ATV riding.
Located on the northern-most border of Las Vegas’ suburbs, Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument was officially established as a national marker on December 19, 2014.
At this location in 1933, quarry workers unearthed a pile of bones from a mammoth. The site became known as 'Tule the Baby Mammoth.' This discovery led to the Tule Springs expedition, led by paleontologist Fenley Hunter of the American Museum of Natural History. Scientists continued to research the area for decades, hoping to find evidence of early contact between early humans and extinct late ice age animals.In 1962, scientists from the Nevada State Museum conducted the 'Big Dig,' creating trenches up to a mile long. During this excavation, researchers discovered an abundance of large animal fossils, such as mammoths, camels, bison, ground sloths, and the Giant North American lion.
-National Park Service
Dozens upon dozens of buckets and bags of litter were retrieved from the area, with some volunteers picking up more than just wrappers and soda cans. An empty fire extinguisher, a shattered television, scraps of metal and carpeting, a kitchen sink and an 8-foot beam were all found and properly disposed of.
"Volunteering made me feel amazing," said Zappos Merchandising Planner Ashley Burton-Mims. "I had no idea there was so much waste in what seemed to be 'the middle of nowhere.' I felt an added sense of pride picking up trash and knowing that the metal [beam] will be repurposed in the community ... How awesome is that!"
Zappos and KEEN Footwear employees have a strong history of getting outside to help protect the places that we love to visit and explore. The two companies have partnered on several “KEEN Day” cleanups around southern Nevada, including sites on the 11,000-foot Mt. Charleston.
In 2015 and 2016, Zappos supported KEEN’s Live Monumental Campaign to protect Gold Butte, Nevada by designating it as a national monument. The reasons behind the campaign are rooted in our shared passion for the outdoors and connection to the natural world. We want to see beautiful and historically significant places left intact for future generations to observe and enjoy.