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Cleaning up the Cape

By Staff | Apr 18, 2017

The public can lend a hand this weekend to help make the city a little cleaner for Earth Day.

On Saturday, the Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association and the Southwest Florida Parrot Head Club will hold separate clean-up events. In line with Keep Lee County Beautiful, the 21st annual Northwest Cape Coral Trash Bash will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Burnt Store Boat Ramp.

The regional club will kick of a road cleanup along Del Prado Boulevard at 9:30 a.m.

The public is invited to take part in either event in recognition of Earth Day.

“We believe that Cape Coral is a phenomenal place to live and we want to make it better,” John Bashaw, the president of the Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, said.

Organized by the association, the Burnt Store cleanup is one of many planned countywide.

“There are 13 sites throughout Lee County,” he said.

As for the Del Prado cleanup, the Southwest Florida Parrot Head Club adopted the road years ago. For at least a decade, the club has been cleaning up the boulevard from Savona Parkway to Palaco Grande Parkway.

“It’s just part of the giving back to the community,” Barb Fries, the club’s president, said.

Those interested in the Burnt Store cleanup are asked to arrive at 8:30 a.m. Bashaw explained that supplies, like gloves and trash bags, will be handed out and safety instructions will be provided.

“We recommend that you have shoes, not sandals or flip flops,” he said.

Long pants are also suggested for areas with high brush.

“There’s a lot of trash trapped in vegetation, like grocery bags and things,” Bashaw said.

Last year, approximately 100 people participated in the cleanup.

Volunteers will comb for litter on land and by sea.

“We also want to work on cleaning up the waterways,” he said.

People with boats, kayaks and canoes are needed to help check the water.

“We do have the equipment they would need for reaching and picking up trash,” Bashaw said.

Those interested in the Del Prado cleanup can meet at Dan’s Fan City near Savona.

“The more the merrier,” Fries said.

The club will have garbage bags, trash grabbers and other supplies on hand.

“Most of the time, we focus on the two sides of the road,” she said.

“Maybe one guy will do the median,” Fries added.

The cleanup takes about an hour and a half.

“We’ve had as little as four people, but we’ve had as many as 10 (participating),” she said.

Both groups reported finding common trash, like soft drink cups, beverage containers and paper.

“Surprisingly, we’ve found several bags full of garage where someone dumped their trash,” Bashaw said. “We find tires. We’ve found construction items and material, like sinks, toilets, toilet seats.”

Fries said they have found tires and car parts, even cash and winning lottery tickets.

“Once someone found a lotto ticket worth a few bucks,” she said.

While the Del Prado group sometimes heads for breakfast after the cleanup, the Burnt Store group plans to wrap up its event with a pizza party and refreshments, provided by the Domino’s Pizza.

“We want people to have fun doing this,” Bashaw said.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come out and make a difference,” he added.

Fries also encouraged the public to take part.

“I think it’s all part of the betterment of the community,” she said.

For more information on the Burnt Store cleanup, contact Bashaw at 920-449-2000.

For more in the Del Prado cleanup, visit online at: swflphc.com/.

The Burnt Store Boat Ramp is at 230 Burnt Store Road, S.

Dan’s Fan City is at 3731 Del Prado Blvd.