At March’s It’s My Park Day, I learned that non-profit Keep Austin Beautiful organizes periodic large-scale cleanups called Clean Lady Bird Lake. So this month I volunteered to pick up trash at Shoal Beach Metropolitan Park, where I had also worked in March. My motivation was two-fold: I use this section of the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail almost every day, and I knew that this area was underwater during the Memorial Day Flood.
As in the spring, Linda was our crew’s leader again. She’s become known as the “community advocate” for this section of the trail. Linda had two reminders for experienced volunteers like me: “Don’t fall in!” and “Watch out for poison ivy!” (I obeyed both.) Our land-based crew of about 20 volunteers was assisted by a member of Austin Stand Up Paddle Boarders, who handled clean-up from the water.
I worked along the shoreline of the Shoal Creek Peninsula and found the usual assortment of trash, including water bottles, cans, straws, tennis balls, and cigarette butts. Linda instructed us to look for items to enter in the lake-wide Unique Object Contest. One volunteer found a still-working battery-powered air freshener. My contest contribution was an XXXL flip-flop.
I learned today that the winning unique entry was a set of plastic vampire teeth submitted by another crew. But, more importantly, over 150 bags of trash were collected by the various crews who were working together to keep Lady Bird Lake clean!
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