By Tamas Mondovics

“For more than twenty years, volunteers have improved the Tampa Bay area during Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup,” said KTBB Community Education Liaison, Patricia A. DePlasco, as she talked about the upcoming clean up event, adding, “This year is no different.”

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is currently recruiting volunteers, Site Captains, Area Managers and local sponsors in hopes of building unity and strengthening community bonds through its beautification and improvement efforts across Hillsborough County.

While the main event is set for Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m -12 p. m with check-in at 8:30 a.m., at locations throughout Hillsborough County, organizers have also scheduled a number of events leading up to the big day such as the National Day of Action on Saturday, April 6, also from 9 a.m -12 p.m.

“Volunteers are needed to help plant trees, install a hydroponic garden, build bat houses and workbenches at the Florida Learning Garden, a project of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful in partnership with the Florida State Fair Authority,” DePlasco said.

For events during Earth Week, from Monday, April 22, – Saturday, April 27, KTBB is partnering with CSX to give away trees. Residents may call to find out how to pick up their free 3 gallon Crape Myrtle trees while supplies last.

This year’s  Great American Clean Up event is appropriately themed, “Green Starts Here” and according to DePlasco, is a call to action to create more sustainable communities by focusing volunteer efforts on activities surrounding waste reduction, recycling, beautification and community greening.

Projects may include: Community gardens (butterfly, vegetable, etc.), Habitat restoration, Invasive plant removal, Litter Free Events, Litter cleanups (rivers, roadways, shorelines, parks, underwater dives, etc.), Landscape maintenance and planting (weeding, trimming, etc.), Playground/park equipment restoration (painting, mulching, etc.), Recycling initiatives (recycle drives, Go Green Night, Art contests, etc.), Storm drain marking and Tree plantings/give-a-way.

Any individual, family, school, group, place of worship, business or government entity can coordinate or participate. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, although there is a restriction of 12 or older for projects along a roadway.

For more information, visit or call 221-8733.


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