A father and daughter in Tennessee embarked on a “Government Shutdown Litter Patrol” to help clean a local national park earlier this week as parks continue to grapple with overflowing trash due to limited staffing amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.

Marc Newland and his daughter Erica were getting ready to go on their usual weekly hike on Thursday when Newland said his 10-year-old decided their quality time would be best spent collecting litter instead, a local ABC station reported.

"We regularly do cleanups around our area and always bring out litter that we run across during our hikes, but Thursday we decided to focus our efforts exclusively on litter patrol," Newland told the outlet on Saturday.


Newland said in a Facebook post detailing the cleanup hike that he and his daughter headed to the Laurel Falls trail with trash bags and pickers in hand for one of their stops and “before we knew it, our bags were full.”

“We didn't quite make it to the waterfall before we had to turn back to make it to a doctors appointment, but we will be returning soon to pick up where we left off,” he continued.

Newland said the day was both “fun and rewarding” for both him and Erica.

The duo also challenged other “hikers to take one day off from getting in miles and impressive vista pics and instead, give back by grabbing a trash bag, heading to the park and collecting some litter!"

"These mountains give so much to so many people. Imagine if only a fraction of those people decided to give back to the mountains," Newland added.

Although national parks across the country have remained opened to visitors under the shutdown, many employees who work for the National Park Service have been furloughed due to the impasse.

As a result, national parks have been reported seeing a buildup of garbage and human waste across the country as visitors continue to arrive despite limited staffing.