The following is an email sent to our president describing the recent river clean-up organized by Wayne Kinard of Amigos Dive Center of Fort White. OSFR members who participated are President Pam Smith and board members, Sharon Yeago and Rhonda Long. OSFR appreciates their help and Wayne Kinard for his consistent and good efforts.
Hey Pam,We had quite a day today with our six (6) volunteers plus me (so seven total) that showed up to gather trash at the 129 Bridge / Sandy Point area.We all worked from 10 am to 12 noon which give us fourteen (14) people hours as a group. During this time we gathered in 593 pounds of trash.!! Everyone was a real pleasure to work with and worked really hard during these two (2) hours.!! We were all very pleased at how much we accomplished in such a short amount of time.After the group left I continued picking up trash all along the road from the boat ramp at the river outward to the road that leads to boat ramp. Once I got started I just couldn’t quit and wound up working alone from 12 noon until 6 pm (until it got too dark to see). During this time I gathered 282 additional pounds of trash and literally heaped my truck and the boat with bags of garbage.!! I will send you pictures tomorrow when it is daylight.So, all together we put in a total of 20 people hours and gathered 875 pounds of trash. How cool is that.!!I provided the trash bags, 5-gallon buckets and grabbers which seemed to be just what we needed to get the job done. Although I had a case of water for all the volunteers I forgot and left it at the shop. Lucky for us it was a relatively cool day. I apologized to the group for not having water for them to drink and no one seemed upset.One thing that did concern me was that some (at least one) of the volunteers wore sandals and Capri pants. Next time we call for volunteers let’s be sure to mention that protective clothing and foot wear should be worn by everyone. No one was injured in any way but there is Poison Ivy and lots of briars and stickers all along the woods that we were working in today.Thanks for all you do and THANKS for the excellent group of volunteer workers that showed up today. I would be pleased to work with them again.In fact, I would like to organize one more two (2) hour work day at this same location and finish up the remaining stretch of road (on the upper part) that we didn’t get to today.With 7 to 8 volunteers we could finish the remaining stretch that leads from Hwy 129 to the road that turns left to the Sandy Point Boat Ramp.!!I do realize that the closer we get to Christmas it will be harder for everyone to find free time for this kind of thing. Today was perfect due to the fact that the weather was great and it is the first weekend of December so the “holiday rush” hasn’t kicked in just yet.If you can put out some feelers as to who or how many might be available next Saturday that would be great.!! I would really like to finish up the stretch of road that we didn’t do today.The owner of Sandy Point Boat Ramp (Harry Collins) has given me permission to use the boat ramp for FREE (normally $5) when we are there with volunteers picking up trash on the river or along the roads that lead to the boat ramp. I will send a personal “Thank You” to Harry for his kindness to us.Thanks again to all the volunteers and for your efforts in making thIs a really successful day.!!Talk to you soon.
PS: the total people hours and pounds of trash for just the customer volunteers that have picked up trash with me for the year is 116 people hours and 1,363 pounds of trash.I really love getting out on the river in the boat with my customers and picking up trash. There is something very satisfying about being out on the beautiful river and helping to make it even more beautiful. My customers like it too and it helps spread the word world wide through social media about the importance of clean and healthy rivers and lakes. Pretty much a win-win situation for everyone.I never charge anyone to go in the boat and the customers take lots of pictures and really enjoy the experience. Many of the pictures end up on FaceBook or some other form of social media.Talk to you soon, Keep in touch…I will do the same.