It’s time to get dirty for a good cause.
The Great American Cleanup comes to the Temple Terrace area and all of Hillsborough County this Saturday, April 21.
Temple Terrace is planning its own big cleanup event. The River & Trails Cleanup takes place from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are gathering at Rotary Park, 8000 E. Fowler Ave., starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The cleanup will focus mostly on the river, said Dana Carver, a parks planner with the city of Temple Terrace.
This means volunteers in the city event will want to bring their own watercraft, such as kayaks or canoes to help out, Carver added.
“We’re working a different part of the river,” he said in a media release. “We’ve been so successful at Riverhills Park that we decided it was important to this year to actually get into the river in a new location. It will be the first time we’ve started at Rotary Park.”
The city’s cleanup welcomes volunteers under the age of 18, but a waiver must be completed by a parent or guardian. Students that want school credit can bring along their volunteer log sheets for validation at the event.
Volunteers should also be sure to bring bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellant. The city is providing small snacks, some water and garbage bags.
To sign up or get more information, call 813-506-6600 or stop by the Family Recreation Complex at 6610 E. Whiteway Drive. The event is sponsored by the Temple Terrace Leisure Services Parks and Recreation Division in partnership with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.
Countywide Events are Also Planned
As organizers put the finishing touches on other Hillsborough events, volunteers are still needed to do some good in the neighborhood, said Patricia DePlasco, community education liaison with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. Cleanup sites are located throughout the county.
DePlasco’s nonprofit organization is responsible for a number of environmental projects throughout the year with the Great American Cleanup being one of the largest.
More than 70,000 pounds of trash was collected last year by volunteers during the period of March 1 through May 31, DePlasco said. About 11,300 pounds was collected during the Great American Cleanup itself.
Volunteers are the backbone of the national event and Hillsborough’s volunteers are appreciated, DePlasco said.
“We need our volunteers to come out and clean up the mess that’s already out there. Hopefully, they’ll learn from it and be advocates for us.”
Hillsborough County has taken part in the national cleanup event for more than 20 years, DePlasco said. Keep America Beautiful has been sponsoring the work day for 28 years.
While many volunteer locations in Hillsborough are already filled, DePlasco said there are still plenty that can use extra hands.
“Everyone is welcome,” said Daisy Parker, the environmental program coordinator with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.
Parker said the cleanup and other events like it are important for the Tampa Bay area.
“Community improvement efforts such as this provide a sense of pride in where we live, improve the local economy, protect our wildlife from entanglements and raise awareness on the harmful effects of litter,” she said.
After the Cleanup
When the cleanup’s over, it’s time to rock.
Skippers Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, plans to host a “Friend Raising Concert” to benefit Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful on April 22 – the day after the Great American Cleanup.
The concert runs from 5 to 9 p.m. with such bands as Coo Coo Ca Choo and The Groves on tap to play. The cost is a $10 donation at the door with proceeds going to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.