Trinity View Park was the site for Keep Irving Beautiful’s (KIB) annual spring cleanup event, the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off, part of the state’s signature event for the national Great American Cleanup initiative. On April 10, volunteers arrived early, according to the time they had chosen when they pre-registered. While the Trash-Off usually draws several hundred volunteers, this event was limited to the first 100 who signed up in order to observe social distancing guidelines. Sign-ins were staggered every 15 minutes, and after picking up supplies and receiving safety instructions, volunteers set out in small groups to collect litter and prevent it from reaching the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.
While these volunteers were picking up litter at Trinity View, other groups were conducting their own cleanups in areas like Parkside Commons and Northwest, T.W. Richardson Grove, Spring Hills and Centennial Parks. These ‘virtual volunteers’ posted pictures to social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and reported their total volunteers, hours and amounts collected. By including the hashtag #IrvingTrashOff, their posts were monitored by KIB staff and their efforts were included in the grand total.
Combing the efforts of the Trinity View Park group and those who worked throughout the city, the final results included, 101 volunteers, 384 volunteer hours, 1,435 pounds of trash and 325 pounds of recyclables collected.
Several city departments contributed to the success of the event, including Parks and Recreation and Solid Waste Services for providing roll-off containers and weighing the trash and recyclables collected. The Communications Department provided an ICTN crew to interview volunteers and capture the action of the day.
Trinity View volunteers were treated to box lunches, generously donated by the Chick-fil-A Las Colinas store. Special thanks to the Young Men’s Service League Irving Hawks from Cistercian Academy and their mothers for their support.
It has become tradition to include a canned food drive as part of this event. Crisis Ministries is a 100% volunteer organization serving Irving for more than 25 years. Donations directly support the work they do each day. This year, KIB volunteers donated 280 pounds of food.
“KIB has been looking forward to being able to gather together for an event like this,” said KIB Board President Scott Wilson. “While KIB had to limit the volunteer numbers this year, the enthusiasm was the same as it always is. On behalf of the entire KIB board and staff, we want to thank everyone who had a part in this event, whether it was at Trinity View, or at cleanups in other locations.”