KI Beach Cleanups season off to strong start
STEVENSVILLE — The Kent Island Beach Cleanups sixth season is off to a fantastic start, according to founder Kristin Weed, after two successful Saturdays picking up trash.
KIBCU hosted its first cleanup for 2017 at Terrapin Beach on April 15. More than 60 volunteers came out, and they overfilled the trash trailer in less than four hours, Weed said.
She signed more than 16 student volunteer service hours forms and met 36 new volunteers that Saturday.
This past weekend, KIBCU partnered with the county’s Earth Day roadside cleanup effort, picking up trash under along Piney Narrows Road and at the Kent Narrows pier under the bridge in Chester.
On a chilly, wet April 22, 42 volunteers participated in the cleanup, including 15 students and 16 new volunteers. They “collected the most ever garbage from that area in one day,” Weed said. “The park rangers could barely fit the totaled garbage in their truck and off road vehicle.”
Strange items collected Saturday included several tires, a weed whacker and more than 30 golf balls, she said.
They also collected lots and lots of fishing line — one of Weed’s pet peeves. She reminded the public they have a fishing line recycling station right at the pier.
Earth Day also marked the beginning of the organization’s partnership with TerraCycle’s beach recycling pilot program. Rigid plastics collected during the cleanup were boxed to be shipped to the New Jersey company to be separated by type, cleaned and melted into hard plastics that can be remodeled to make new products instead of going to the county landfill.
TerraCycle is working with Procter & Gamble to create the first ever recycled plastic shampoo bottle, she said.
This Thursday, April 27, is KIBCU “Spirit Day” at Sweet Frog frozen yogurt in Chester. The business will donate a portion of the entire day’s proceeds, open to close, Weed said. If you don’t have a flier, just tell the cashier that you support KIBCU. Also, KIBCU volunteers will staff an information table in the evening to talk to the community about the organization.
The next KICBU effort is set for May 6 at Hemingway’s beach. Cleanups are regularly held on Saturday mornings. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the cleanup starting no later than 8:30. The cleanups usually finish by noon, depending on how many volunteers attend.
Volunteers can just show up to work, but they must sign a participation waiver; those volunteers under 18 must have the waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Students can earn service learning hours for participating in cleanups.
KIBC provides cleanup supplies, such as gloves, buckets and trash bags.
“Bring a reusable water bottle,” Weed advised. The organization provides water to fill your bottle, but no longer provides bottled water in effort to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic, she said. A light snack is also provided.
For more information, find Kent Island Beach Cleanups page on Facebook or go to www.kentislandbeachclean ups.com.
Kent Island High School students Summer Hagelin, left, and Julia Humphreys, pick up trash at Terrapin Beach, Saturday morning, April 15, during the first Kent Island Beach Cleanups effort of 2017. They were among the more than 60 volunteers who turned out for the effort.
Kent Island Beach Cleanups intern Morgan Fleegle, left, looks on as Kristin Weed helps Jessica and Madelyn Newton of Stevensville register for the Terrapin Beach cleanup, Saturday morning, April 15. KIBCU holds regular volunteer cleanups throughout the year. More than 60 people turned out April 15.