Several Safety Harbor residents, including Mayor Joe Ayoub (right) and Commissioner Andy Zodrow (back, red hat) participated in the second Team Up To Clean Up event at the Waterfront Park on Saturday morning despite inclement weather forcing a premature postponement. (Credit: Safety Harbor Inspired Planners/Facebook.)
The second Team Up To Clean Up community cleanup effort at the Safety Harbor Waterfront Park was reportedly postponed on Saturday morning due to inclement weather.
“Ok, the rain and lightning are getting dangerous. Stay home this morning. Thanks to the early risers who got a jump and started cleaning up before the torrential rains!” Safety Harbor Inspired Planners wrote on its Facebook page at around 9:00 a.m. when the event was supposed to start.
Only, it wasn’t postponed, and the few souls who showed up and braved the elements wound up collecting 325 pounds of trash from the boardwalk area of the park.
Team Up To Clean Up organizer Susan Zinkel (r) chats with local artist Heather Richardson during the first cleanup effort along Ninth Avenue North in June. (Credit: Team Up To Clean Up)
“I guess SHIP sent something out that it was cancelled when a group of us were already there,” event organizer Susan Zinkel explained in an email. “As with all Florida storms, it blew over. The spa had provided a cover tent at the boardwalk and we stood under and waited till it moved away.”
Zinkel said those who stayed had no problem scouring trash from the mangroves and brush surrounding the scenic trail section of the park.
“We picked 325 lbs. of trash, including 4 golf balls, one basketball, sewer pipes and other trash treasures,” she said, noting Mayor Joe Ayoub and Commissioners Andy Zodrow and Cliff Merz participated. “We picked up quite a lot.”
The park cleanup was the second Team Up To Clean Up organized by Zinkel, with collaboration from several individuals, organizations and city officials; the first event in June helped rid a pickup truck full of garbage and debris from the railroad tracks along Ninth Avenue North.
“Commissioners Scott Long and Cliff Merz…were able to meet residents who lived along the railroad tracks who had concerns there was no railroad crossing lights, etc. on the road that entered into their community,” Zinkel said.
“Commissioner Long spoke to (City Manager) Matt Spoor and I believe CSX has upcoming plans to correct this situation. Another win for the community!”
The latest cleanup was planned to help beautify the area surrounding the boardwalk, which officially opened in June, as well as to help the wildlife living along the shoreline.
Wildlife at Safety Harbor’s Waterfront Park boardwalk.
“Saturday’s clean-up is especially important with ensuring the area is clean for wildlife,” Zinkel said prior to the event, noting the group would be removing trash in and around the water as well as removing fishing line caught in the mangroves.
Despite the confusion surrounding Saturday’s event, Zinkel said she is in the process of planning the next Team Up To Clean Up effort, with an eye towards returning to the boardwalk in the future.
“We will schedule another boardwalk/waterfront (event) in a couple of months,” she wrote, adding, “It will probably need another cleanup by then.”
“In the meantime, I’m going to talk to (City Manager) Matt (Spoor) about next location.”