We had a great turnout for the Friends' July park and shoreline cleanup. As part of our Oleta recycling efforts, our dedicated group separated out plastic bottles/glass and aluminum cans (which the Park turns in for money), while also collecting general litter - with a lot of styrofoam collected. Each group of 4 volunteers also had one member doing the tedious work of picking up cigarette butts to keep those terrible micro plastics out of the bay. Littering, especially near the shoreline, is a big problem at Oleta so this work was not only critical for aquatic ecosystem health but also key in that many large bags of recyclables were kept out of the local landfills!
We had amazing sponsors with Starbucks providing coffee for our entire group and gifting each volunteer a Starbucks reusable cup and lid to encourage us to skip the paper cups and choose reusable instead. Shua, Starbucks volunteer extraordinaire, spoke to us about the importance of changing our habits via a switch to reusable cups or tumblers over single-use plastic or paper. We had fab food generously provided by Winn-Dixie, Vocelli Pizza and Kebobji. Wrapping up the event, we gave out awards for one scavenger-cleanup item found, the 3 top nature photos and to the 2 MVP cleanup attendees. We parted ways with everyone asking for the next cleanup/event date - the Friends look forward to seeing you all in August - event dates to be finalized soon!