tampabay.com

Take a walk and clean up a block

St. Pete Beach Residents can adopt a block to pick up trash in common areas.

CASEY CORA
Published October 25, 2006


Adopting an entire mile is tough in a city like St. Pete Beach, where most streets aren't nearly that long.

Instead, residents here are encouraged to participate in the city's Adopt-a-Block program, where they pick up trash in neighborhoods.

But don't worry, it's not a bunch of volunteers who donate their time to do their neighbors' yard work, said Helen Wertel, project manager with the city's Public Works Department. It's picking up trash in common areas, in streets and on corners.

"If you're already outside taking a walk that day, why not do that?" Wertel asked.

All that's required is to sign up and report back to the city's Public Works Department at least four times a year on where, and how much, you cleaned. Since the program began roughly a year ago, most participants collected one, or maybe two, bags of trash each quarter, she said.

"Most of the streets are pretty clean already," she said.

Feeling ambitious?

Entire neighborhoods can also be adopted.

Along with a city-hosted dinner, volunteers will be recognized on the city's Web site and neighborhood signs that show the volunteer's name and adopted block. The program is a spinoff of the Adopt-a-Mile program sponsored by Keep Pinellas Beautiful Inc., a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to environmental awareness and action.

"We changed it up a little bit, made it specific," Chris Johnson, one of the organization's program coordinator, said of the St. Pete Beach program.

Keep Pinellas Beautiful will be providing garbage bags and gloves for program participants.

For more information, visit www.keeppinellasbeautiful.org.

Casey Cora can be reached at 580-1542 or at ccora@sptimes.com.