by LYDIA COBB | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Clean Trails

volunteer_jewett2Steve Jewett hikes Iron Mountain at least every other week. Mt. Woodson with its overhanging Potato Chip Rock is also a go-to. Steve began to see trash in the way and wondered, “What if everyone picked up just one piece of litter?”


Name: Steve Jewett
Community: Tierrasanta
Volunteer Affiliation: Co-founder and President, Clean Trails
Occupation: Business owner, salesperson, inventor, volunteer
Family: Married with two cats
Interests: Hiking, biking, skiing, mountain climbing, anything outdoors

volunteer_jewett1He went about debris removal casually at first with his hiking partner Bill Willoughby. “After seeing too much litter on Iron Mountain over a period of months, we decided to start picking up the litter,” shared Steve. Hikers noticed. They thanked them or joined in the effort, inspiring Steve and Bill to create a community-based venture. They worked with Bob Hahn at Poway Parks & Recreation to test trail boxes that dispensed dog and people litter bags, complete with litter getters. Steve is an entrepreneur who launched four successful companies in business supplies. Clean Trails is his fifth venture.

Clean Trails is a national nonprofit born on Poway’s trails and headquartered in Evergreen, Colorado, with 400 volunteers and 12,000 members. “Our goal is simple – a clean outdoors,” explained Steve. “Motivating every hiker and outdoor enthusiast to pick up at least one piece of litter every time they are outdoors is the bigger challenge.” Clean Trails works with corporate and community groups to organize trail cleanups. Recently, Seacorp cleaned up litter at San Elijo Lagoon with 15 participants. Twenty-five volunteers with Lionsgate Entertainment beautified Solstice Canyon in Santa Monica. Anyone can help by adopting a trail, sharing trail cleanups on social media, or partnering in teambuilding corporate events. The group’s Climb of Life fundraiser will be held in Colorado this year, in partnership with City of Hope, combining cancer research with the healing elements of the outdoors.

Group: Clean Trails
Mission: Keeping wild places, and trails that access those spaces, free of litter.

Steve is joined by his wife of 27 years, Marcia, and their two cats, Cocoa and Sierra. He grew up in Kansas City and moved to Colorado to ski and climb. He has climbed all the fourteeners (peaks at least 14,000 feet above sea level) in Colorado and some in far-reaching locations. They currently live in Tierrasanta. Steve mentioned, “My dad started me in scouting and I fell in love with the outdoors.” As a trained mountain team rescuer, Steve recently came to the aid of a hiker who had sprained her ankle. He enjoys helping people as much as he loves working for cleaner trails.