Pasco County’s annual Coastal Cleanup was held on Saturday, September 15, 2012. There were 14 dumpsters strategically placed across the county this year. Land O’ Lakes was just one drop‐off site where 34 teams and 454 volunteers pre‐registered (33.4% or the 1,361 total volunteers county‐wide) to participate to clean designated lakes, creeks, roads, ditches, and drainage retention areas in central part of the county. After several hours of hot, sweaty work, volunteers returned to the SunTrust Bank where they filled the dumpster provided by Waste Management with 1.27 tons (out of 14.58 collected county‐wide).
There were individuals, families, Boys and Girl Scout troops, and schools involved. Many people come back year after year and there are always some “first‐timers.” “Our teams are extremely dedicated but very competitive!” reported Betsy Crisp of Pasco County Extension, co‐coordinator for the Land O’ Lakes site. “This year, we had a tie for the largest group of volunteers: Nathan Baker’s Boy Scout Pack 323 won last year with 60 members who signed‐up to clean US 41/Land O’ Lakes Boulevard but Paul Gansemer had a combined team of Boy Scouts (Pack and Troop 33) who cleaned Parkway Boulevard north of Pine View Middle School,” Crisp added. “However, the group that brought in the largest amount of trash from one area was definitely Peter Dahn’s Boy Scout Pack 3 who worked 20 Mile Level Road.”
Participants were asked to record data on what they collected and according to those 40 data cards, the most interesting things found this year: table top, hospital bracelet, plastic signs (mostly political), a cell phone, 3 rusted‐out/empty propane tanks, 5 large tires, parts to a TV and computer, easy chair, sofa, mattress/box spring, shopping cart and a boat!
Betsy Crisp coordinated the volunteers for the 23rd year, working with Kurt Conover of Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point(the other co‐coordinator for Land O’ Lakes site). Kurt worked with many local businesses to reward volunteers: Barbecue sandwiches were provided by Hungry Harry’s, hot dogs and chips by SunTrust, orange drink by McDonald’s, water by Zephyrhills/Nestle’s, tent, tables, chairs by Taylor Rental. Kurt’s wife, Sandra Conover collected door prizes local businesses and the Lutz Land O’ Lakes Women’s Club who also helped with volunteer check‐in.