On September 8th, Ruth Steiner and I headed up to the Roadside Park where the Route 47 bridge crosses the Santa Fe River to help out with the kickoff event for the Third Great Suwannee River Cleanup. The coordinator of the event was Fritzi Olson, who is the Executive Director of Current Problems. We joined 26 volunteers, who helped to pick up 251 pounds of trash. Ruth and I had a great time scooting around on the river. Mark Long piloted the boat, while Pete Butt donned his wetsuit and dove into the river to pick up the trash. Items recovered included flip flops, cigarette lighters, and full cans of beer. Pete was particularly interested in using the beer for boiling German sausage and bratwurst. After the trash collection process was completed, we had a delightful lunch provided by the Santa Fe Park Task Force. After lunch several on the commissioners spoke emotionally about their efforts to restore the park to its original state 50 years ago. It took a gigantic effort to cleanup smashed (concrete) picnic tables a few months ago. A second cleanup was required when Tropical Storm Debby deposited so much water in the river that it rose 7 feet high in the picnic pavilions. A second cleanup (and paint job) had to be undertaken. Since security (i.e. vandalism) has been such a problem at the park, future plans include a gated fence and a guard who lives on site. For more information on the cleanup, click on the link.
Ruth Steiner and Fritzi Olson. Commissioner Tommy Langford and Food.
Through coordination with Fritzi, Tom Morris has agreed to lead an SSJ cleanup outing to the Natural Bridge Area of Suwannee River State Park. This outing will be special because we will also have the opportunity to play Tarzan on his 45 foot rope swing and paddle down the rapids of the Withlacoochee River. This outing will be on November 10, 2012.
Post by Dave Wilson