Edgar McGregor took things into his own hands when he saw part of the Angeles National Forest filled with litter
Edgar McGregor
Credit: Courtesy Edgar McGregor

When Edgar McGregor came across trash scattered around Eaton Canyon in Southern California, he knew he couldn't simply walk by without making a difference.

The 20-year-old climate activist visited the canyon, which is located in the Angeles National Forest, for 589 straight days, according to NPR. During each of his visits, McGregor collected debris — including iPhones, beer cans and bottles — until finally, on Mar. 5, the entire area was clean.

"I AM DONE!!! I DID IT!!! After **589** days of picking up trash every single day, I can say with confidence that Eaton Canyon, one of Los Angeles's most popular hiking trail, is now free of municipal waste!" he wrote on Twitter. "I'VE DONE IT!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

McGregor's announcement quickly went viral, racking up more than 107,000 likes on Twitter.

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist, even congratulated McGregor for the accomplishment.

"Well done and congratulations!!" she responded in a tweet.

Edgar McGregor
Credit: Courtesy Edgar McGregor
Edgar McGregor
Credit: Courtesy Edgar McGregor

After completing the clean-up, McGregor called on the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation department to permanently hire people to clean up parks around the city, instead of relying on volunteers.

He also told NPR that he plans to return to the park for maintenance of the area, while visiting other parks in need of a deep clean.

"Not worrying about litterbugs and simply immersing myself in this work has made me more excited than ever to go out every single day and pick up," McGregor — who says he has autism — told the outlet.

"There is nothing more satisfying than seeing brand new animals return to your park after months of cleaning up," he continued. "I highly encourage anyone with any spare time to give this mission a shot. Your parks need you."

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When he first set out on the clean-up journey nearly two years ago, McGregor said he believed it would only take 20 days.

"In May 2019 I decided to bring out one to two buckets per day and pick up trash," he explained in a recent video. "Whether it was 117 degrees or if it was raining ash and the mountains were on fire, or if it was pouring down rain, it didn't matter. I was out here for at least an hour every single day, cleaning up my park."

Through his hashtag #EarthCleanUp, McGregor hopes to inspire others to take an active part in cleaning up their communities.

"There is a future worth fighting for," he wrote in a tweet. "Never stop believing that."