It’s time to get dirty for a good cause.
The Great American Cleanup comes to the South Tampa area and all of Hillsborough County this Saturday, April 21.
As organizers put the finishing touches on Hillsborough’s 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.