Following a hugely successful return to July Fourth
festivities, all the more exciting because the holiday spanned a weekend, more
than smiles and joyous memories were left behind.
There was plenty of trash that had to be attended to.
Following the Independence Eve celebration that drew an enormous crowd to downtown Apalachicola, about two dozen volunteers from Main Street spent their drizzling Independence Day morning working alongside a hired janitorial crew to clean up.
The cleanup included not only Riverfront Park and the section of Avenue E that served as the food truck court, but also a significant stretch of Water Street, Avenue D, and Commerce Street. The volunteers collected litter on streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and grassy areas.
"We proactively collaborated with the city, county, and Waste Pro in advance to handle the volume of trash that gets generated from an event as large as this,” said Augusta West, executive director of Apalachicola Main Street. “From Battery Park to the Mill Pond, downtown was packed with several thousand attendees.
“We would like to thank event sponsor Waste Pro for donating the use of 25 trash cans as well as a dumpster which was placed on an empty lot on Commerce Street,” she said, “The dumpster really helped with timely trash disposal from the event and the downtown receptacles.
"Our goal with the cleanup was to leave downtown cleaner than before the celebration. We hope downtown businesses and local residents were pleased with the effort,” West said.
Main Street hired a janitorial crew to empty trash, maintain supplies, and clean the public restrooms during and after the event. “The dumpster, increased number of trash cans, restroom janitorial crew, and morning-after cleanup were all new initiatives aimed at leaving downtown in pristine shape, with no visible sign of the patriotic party the night before,” she said.
About 30 St. George Islanders went to work on Monday morning, July 5, a day after the island’s huge parade, party and later pyrotechnics to pick up more than 30 bags of trash,
Ada Long, organizer of the cleanup, said special thanks go to Jon Paul Loesch of Affordable Island Maintenance, “without whom these cleanups would not be possible. Also top-o'-the-line thanks to Jo Ellen Pearman, photographer and person extraordinaire, and kudos to Daren Hoffman, who picked up one debit card, which the sheriff’s office came by to pick up, and $1.10 and four face masks.
“Thanks to Betsy Nofziger for bringing zinnias and a cool lapel pin she found of tiny sunglasses,” said Long.
In addition to Pearman and Hoffman, Long said volunteers included Natasha Loesch, Autumn Loesch, Hailey Loesch, Bob Pruitt, Betsy Nofziger, Liz Roffey, Daren Hoffman, Kevin Norris, Val Tyll, Steve Tyll, Brooke Tyll, Lynn Wamp, Andrée Grogan, Michelle Hancock, Rob Hancock, Shannon Bothwell, Ken Stegina, Jimmy Lewis, Pete Whitesell, Karen Redic, Dennic Schaeffer, Elizabeth Marschall, Lisa Womack, Kenneth Womack, Jessica Loewy, Dodie Alber and Lynn Wilder.
“Thanks again, and we’ll see you on Sept. 18 for the International Coastal Cleanup!” she wrote.