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Cape Coral canal Cleanup Day set for Saturday

By Staff | Mar 21, 2012

Residents are encouraged to come out Saturday morning and help clean up the waterways in Cape Coral during the fifth annual Canal Cleanup Day.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers can meet at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Pavilion at the start of the clean up to register. The city will provide people with trash bags, gloves and assigned areas to work.

The $5 parking fee in the trailer lot will be waived for volunteers.

The event is sponsored by the city, Keep Lee County Beautiful and Waste Pro, in concert with the Keep America Beautiful, Great American Cleanup.

“It’s part of a greater effort,” Harry Phillips, with the city’s Environmental Resources Division, said. “From a city perspective, we’re just doing our part to make sure we’re involved.”

Volunteers will help remove trash and debris from city canals and coastal areas, including waterfront parks like Jaycee Park and Bernie Braden Park.

Last year, approximately 75 people collected about one ton of trash.

“We picked up a street sign, a bike and a lot of scrap lumber,” Phillips said. “Most of it was plastic and styrofoam. Water bottles, too – a lot.”

More than 13,500 pounds of trash has been collected over the years.

“It’s great that they have that sense of community and pride in the community,” he said of those who volunteer. “It seems that every year we’re pretty consistent with how much trash we’re picking up.”

For the event, there will be shuttles available to take people to different areas. Some will be on foot, while others will use boats, kayaks or canoes.

“We’ll pair people people up that are welcome to have someone on their boat,” Phillips said. “We have the boat ramp there, that’s one of the reasons we chose the Yacht Club.”

The boats typically work with the kayaks and canoes because they can haul more trash back to the site, but boats cannot get close to the mangroves.

“We have school groups that come in that need volunteer hours,” he said. “We have folks that live on canals that clean up their canal or pull together neighbors to clean up their own canal.”

Dumpsters for collection of the debris will be placed in various locations throughout the city. At the end of the event, all of the trash is weighed by Waste Pro. The company will also provide volunteers with event T-shirts.

“They wear them with pride when they’re cleaning up,” Phillips said.

He suggested that volunteers dress comfortably for the cleanup, as if they are doing outside work. People may also want to wear sunscreen and a hat.

Lunch will be served at noon at the Yacht Club pavilion.

Papa John’s Pizza and CiCi’s Pizza is providing the food.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club Pavilion is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway. For information, contact Phillips at 574-0785 or hphillips@capecoral.net.