Ben Pacheco – Director
Benny Pacheco is an outdoor and nature enthusiast who was born and raised in Northern Utah. Always amazed at the world and wonders of the earth , striving to help future generations understand the importance of caring for the Earth and taking action to do so. Live, Give, and Love.
Kirsten (Kitty) Hiortdahl – Director
Kitty is a newcomer to Northern Utah from the east coast. She is perpetually amazed and entranced by nature and is excited to be able to make sure others have an opportunity to readily access the natural world. Formally trained in biology and engineering, Kitty keenly sees the need for education and activism as a cornerstone for stewardship of our precious planet and all its inhabitants.
Cherie Malone – Director
After a successful career in retail Management, Cherie Malone returned to Utah to enjoy the four seasons. She believes in giving back to the community and taking action to encourage participation in keeping trails, parks and water ways clean and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
Lyndsey Sorrentino – Director
Lyndsey Sorrentino is a transplant from California, where she was active in event planning and fitness training. Her career as a senior tax analyst prepared her well for her service on our board. She loves living in an area with so many trails and helping to create a better experience for all who use them.
David Stuart – Director
Dave Stuart is a passionate lover of the outdoors and community. He brings years of experience in trail construction and maintenance to our board. He devotes many hours each week to building and preserving local trails, often while leading scout or other groups.
Gabe – Director
Gabe is new to the area but has enjoyed the outdoors ever since he was kid, he is constantly in search of new natural areas to be explored with his family. He has experience in computer hardware and software, and experience managing other websites.
Marie Hahn – Outreach Coordinator
Marie Hahn has been picking up trash since she learned to crawl, and served on the Pliking board for three years before retiring to become the Outreach Coordinator. She has worked with pliking volunteers from several cities, including Chicago, Gastonia and Idaho Falls. She currently lives in the Seattle area, where she enjoys pliking the forests and beaches, and leaving them even better than she found them.
While picking up trash on their weekly hike, Marie and Trudy discussed the idea of forming a cleanup group. They initially thought of calling it “The Bag Ladies,” but quickly dismissed that idea in favor of Pliking – Picking up Litter while hIKING. However, they didn’t know if anyone would actually show up and did not pursue the idea at that time. Several months later, they mentioned the idea to their friend Tom, who was very enthusiastic and offered to fund a Meetup Group.
The Pliking Club of Ogden was organized on Sept. 18, 2018 and held its first cleanup at the High Adventure Park in Ogden, Utah. Thirteen “plikers” showed up and pliking was born.
At first, just a few volunteers met a couple of times a month to pick up trash on local trails. As they formed strong connections with each other and the trails they cleaned, the number of volunteers increased. Cleanup events were quickly joined by additional programs for litter cleanup and prevention, including educational booths, civic presentations, a school poster contest and business/school partnerships.
Strengthened by the enthusiasm of early volunteers, including Marie Hahn, Cherie Malone, Lyndsey Sorrentino, Nestor Robles, Ben Pacheco, and Dave Stuart, the Pliking Club needed to incorporate so the program could continue to grow. In December 2019, a newly formed 5-member board of directors met to organize Pliking Inc., a “501(c)3 dedicated to building clean, healthy and strong communities through promoting the sport of Pliking.”
Since what time, Pliking has contributed more than 4600 volunteer hours to the Ogden area and picked up more than a thousand large bags of trash. The hours contributed directly to Ogden City, valued at $23.50 an hour, have been used for matching grants to help build new trails, such as Stairway to Harrison and the Trackline Bike Park.
When the nation shut down in March 2020 because of COVID, cleanup activities halted for a season. However, Pliking Inc. soon developed new programs to continue cleaning trails safely, which was especially important because more people than ever were visiting the trails and parks. The organization provided free socially-distanced delivery of grabbers, gloves and trash bags to interested individuals and families. The Pliking 27 Challenge started July 24 of that year, providing prizes for pliking the 27 trails on Ogden City’s trails map. As restrictions eased, Pliking Inc. provided sanitized equipment and masks to business groups, and resumed events with only a few volunteers.
On April 16, 2021, Pliking, Inc. was awarded the WSU (Weber State University) Presidential Award for Community Engagement because of their work with students, especially in providing volunteer opportunities during the pandemic.
Pliking has spread east and south with the addition of the Keep Gastonia Beautiful pliking program in North Carolina, the Pliking Club of Salt Lake, and events near Idaho Falls. Pliking Inc. has partnered with several trails and environmental organizations, including Clean Trails, Ogden Trails Network, Trails Foundation of Northern Utah and the GOAL Foundation.