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Hard at it
Volunteers clean up Indian Rocks Beach
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Beth Brave and her daughter Angela of Largo were among the dozens of people who showed up Oct. 20 to clean Indian Rocks Beach.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Dozens of people showed up on Indian Rocks Beach Oct. 20 to pick up trash and clean up the beach. It was Pinellas Coastal Clean Up day and people came from far and wide to pitch in and help.

Among those people were Beth Brave and her daughter, 8-year-old Angela. They live in Largo but felt they were as responsible for keeping the beach clean as anyone else.

“We wanted to do something to help out,” said Brave. “This is a good day for it and we should all help to make the beach nicer.”

She was surprised at what she saw.

“I couldn’t believe it; some of what we picked up was right by a trash can, just inches away. It is hard to imagine why people couldn’t make that last step,” she said.

The beach cleanup takes place twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Organizers say usually the same amount of trash is found from one cleanup to the next. Back in March 120 garbage bags were filled, enough to stuff a large dumpster. This time, however, it seems to be different, at least from the observation of Mayor R.B. Johnson.

“There doesn’t seem to be as much this time,” he said. “It could be because the beach has just been renourished and the trash was taken away by the big machines.”

Johnson was nevertheless pleased with the people who came to help.

“It is a very nice turnout on a nice day. It is important to keep the beach clean,” he said.

Among the 75 people registered to clean up the beach were Cub Scout and Brownie troops. Erika Meade is the wolf den leader of Cub Scout Pack 371 from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Largo. She felt it was very important for the young people to get involved in cleaning the beach. “Especially for Scouts because it is important for them to be helping the community,” she said. “It is also valuable that they get to appreciate and protect our natural resources.”

Nearby Clearwater resident Kendra Heater was pleased to see the young people involved. “As a teacher I love the fact that the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are here to help,” she said.

IRB’s Supervisor of Public Services Randy Schwab was on hand to make sure the volunteers got what they needed. He did double duty as cook, making sure there were enough hot dogs and hamburgers and drinks for those who were helping. Like the others, he was pleased with the number of people who came to help.

“We are very happy with it,” he said. “It makes me particularly happy when young people are involved. It is exciting to realize that the young people are our future and they already care about keeping the beach clean.”
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