Volunteers wanted to clean up Austin

By Tim Ruzek

Austin has tons of trash lying on its parks, shorelines and streets.

Some local organizers are trying to gather a volunteer workforce that’s big enough to tackle that amount of debris that’s exposed after this winter’s snow melted.

Volunteers are wanted for the second annual Community Pride Day, a three-hour event scheduled for April 26.


Participants will get plastic gloves, trash bags and their cleanup assignment when they arrive that day.

Those interested are asked to call the city’s Park & Recreation office to register ahead of the event.

Last year, about 200 volunteers collected 1.8 tons of litter from surfaces around Austin. The city paid for disposal of the trash.

It was a surprisingly high amount of the trash collected, said Lou Beckel, who created the event with Mary Henry.

Organizers specifically want volunteers for cleaning parks and trails in Austin, Beckel said. Beckel and Henry have spent hours of their own time picking up garbage on the city trails they have walked together for years.

Other groups connected to the event will clean their own areas, such as the Sterling Shopping Center, Oak Park Mall and downtown area, Beckel said.

Another group plans to wear hip waders to go along the shorelines in Austin picking up debris, she said.

Beckel said she hopes the event can cover a little more area this year aside from the parks, such as green space acquired by the city through its voluntary flood-acquisition program.


Henry told the Austin City Council last week that families are encouraged to bring their children and use the event as an opportunity to teach them not to litter.

This year, volunteers also will separate recyclable materials, such as plastic and glass, from the trash to be recycled, Beckel said.

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