Nothing beats a beautiful day out with friends, showing off your town and all its amenities. Many of us Floridians know the feeling of getting the house ready, everything getting buffed and shined, garbage properly disposed of in cans outside of view, recycling neatly sorted in bins, and your little piece of the world clean and orderly, and primed for visitors.
Now, what about your neighbors? Do they share in your love of organization and order, or are they the type who feel perfectly at ease with their possessions strewn about their lawns? Do they not know that the backyard is a better place for junk piles, or better yet, just throw that stuff out! Have they not heard about city recycling programs, even for hard to dispose of items like old paint and oil cans? Should somebody enlighten them to the handiness of a Glad garbage bag? So, you’ve taken the time to tidy up your areas and, yet, you must be subjected to less than desirable homes in your neighborhood and businesses suffering from blight and neglect.
For many people, a call to action for heavy cleaning is a result of a visitor, or perhaps a relative coming to visit which creates a fear of them scrutinizing your home. But what if we considered ourselves as visitors in our own towns and raised expectations that everything look a little nicer, slightly cleaner, and more organized, all the time? Might we all take more pride in our areas if someone got the ball rolling and showed us how easy it is to just bend over and pick up trash and place it in a bag? Well, don’t wait people, be the conduit to a cleaner, brighter community. It just takes a steady commitment to common sense solutions that we all should be doing without hesitation. When we live in a place as special and as beautiful as Sarasota County and have access to beauty, all around, it is our duty as residents to make sure garbage isn’t spilling into the street, that vacant lots are not being used as public dumping grounds, and that recyclables don’t pile up outside of garages and homes, rather than being disposed of with ease.
The 2017 Great American Cleanup is scheduled for March 25 and April 22. The goal for Sarasota County is to have 500 volunteers present for each event, with a total representation of at least 1000 people. It’s so easy to help! A variety of sites have been designated around town that need some sprucing up, and as you peruse the list, I’m sure you can locate a place or two that you’ve always wished would look nicer. Trash bags and gloves will be available to all volunteers, and the first 500 will also get a special t-shirt. Below is a list of locations where you can give the gift of a small amount of your time. Please consider coming out on either-or both-days, and let’s keep Sarasota beautiful for all to enjoy.
Saturday, March 25 Venues: 17th Street Park and Paw Park, Bee Ridge Park, Blackburn Point Park, Blind Pass Beach Park, Brohard Beach and Paw Park, Caspersen Beach Park, Celery Fields, Centennial Park and Boat Ramp, Fruitville Park, Indian Mound Park, Ken Thompson Park, Lido Beach Longwood Park, Manasota Beach Park, Marina Park and Boat Ramp (Venice), Maxine Barritt Park, Newtown Estates Park, Nokomis Beach Park. Nokomis Community Park, Nora Patterson Bay Island Park, North Jetty Park, North Lido Beach, Phillippi Estate Park, Potter Park, Red Bug Slough Preserve, Service Club Park at Brohard Park, Siesta Beach, South Lido Beach (Ted Sperling Park), Turtle Beach Park, Twin Lakes Park, Venice Beach, Woodmere Park and Paw Park
Saturday, April 22 Venues: Arlington Park and Aquatic Center. Blind Pass Beach Park, Caspersen Beach Park, Centennial Park and Boat Ramp, Ken Thompson Park, Lido Beach, Manasota Beach Park, Maxine Barritt Park, Newtown Estates Park, Nokomis Beach Park, North Jetty Park, North Lido Beach, Phillippi Estate Park, Service Club Park at Brohard Park, Siesta Beach Accesses, Siesta Beach Park, South Lido Beach (Ted Sperling Park), Venice Beach
Photos: Youth Conservation Corps courtesy of Wayne National Forest on Flickr, commercial use allowed, Soldiers lend hand at area school courtesy of Fort Rucker on Flickr, commercial use allowed, Tsunoshima community cleanup courtesy of Mike 19145 on Flickr, commercial use allowed