Community Gathers for Post-Gasparilla Cleanup
After more than 300,000 people gathered downtown Tampa for Gasparilla Jan. 28, the City of Tampa and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful requested volunteer assistance on Sunday to remove litter and debris from parade routes.
Volunteers included Tampa Bay community members and Florida Southern’s own Sophie Morgan. This marked Morgan’s second year volunteering with the post-Gasparilla cleanup, and she requested the help of her Zeta Tau Alpha sisters by offering ZTA service hours for their assistance.
“It was rainy last year, but me and Jenna Karr and Elise Pullen did it,” Morgan said. “I loved being able to do it again.”
Individuals could register online for the cleanup using a Google Doc form, and volunteers were then assigned to one of four meeting locations along the parade route. The designated locations included the Tampa Garden Club on Bayshore Boulevard, a Bank of America on Hyde Park Avenue, the Kate Jackson Community Center on S. Rome Street and Bern’s Park on S. Howard Avenue.
Cleanup registration began Sunday at 8:30 a.m. while the cleanup ran from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers were encouraged to wear protective footwear and bring sunscreen and hats while Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful provided trash bags, water and soft gloves.
Volunteers were also encouraged to download a free “Marine Debris Tracker” app to help the city keep track of what type of litter was being removed.
“It was so rewarding,” Morgan said.
The City of Tampa is also requesting assistance from divers, kayakers and data analyzers next Feb. 3 to remove debris from the channel.
The post-Gasparilla cleanup was sponsored by Dan and Christine Fisher but was organized by Moira Foley with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, a nonprofit organization that strives for environmental awareness through volunteer and educational opportunities.