Three days ago I managed to fit nine people into my minivan and we road tripped our way to Wekiva Springs Island to do an IDEAS clean-up. IDEAS or Intellectual Decisions for Environmental Awareness Solutions is a UN recognized non-profit organization founded in Orlando, FL. I currently serve as the clean-up coordinator for the University of Central Florida chapter.
When we arrived, we were very pleased to find that three other IDEAS members were already waiting to get things going. We loaded up, 2 or 3 persons via canoe, bags, trash grabbers and we were off. Almost immediately we spotted turtles, ospreys, gators and….trash. Luckily we had an amazing clean-up crew that picked up any signs of trash in our pathway. You could call us the “trash busters” if you saw the amount of trash we collected over a three hour span of time. The clean-up ran from 9am-12pm and members stayed a couple hours after to help pick up the Island as well as enjoy the beauties of nature surrounding us.
Overall, the event was a success and our efforts prevailed. This was obvious when we all collectively put our trash together and sorted it into recycling bins on site at the island. We found shoes, old clothing, hats, cans, bottles, and various odds and ends including an IPhone and a digital camera. Our efforts may not seem large but we’ll help in the long run as we are doing our part to keeping different ecosystems clean and usable for others. It would be ideal for every person to clean-up after themselves. But clean-up crews like us realize that that’s not reality and we’ll continue to do what we can to keep our planet pristine.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Mary Sue Weinaug who allowed us to set-up the clean-up in the first place. Much thanks to her and the rest of the staff at Wekiva Island. IDEAS will be back in the future and that’s a promise.