Wave of interest growing for city beach cleanup

Publisher's Notebook

Wright Park beach, sparsely used around 2 p.m. on Monday, is where the cleanup effort is set to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 27.

By 10 a.m. Friday morning, Dunkirk resident Jeff Robinson had the answer he was hoping for: residents and neighbors from around the region care about the condition of Dunkirk’s beaches. That response was evident in his wife’s email, which had 25 inquiries from people stepping up for Robinson’s call for volunteers in those early hours.

“I never expected anything like this,” he said on Monday.

It was last week when Robinson stopped by the OBSERVER to lament the condition of the city’s main beaches from Wright Park to Point Gratiot. He noted there was too many dead fish and rotted wood along the shores.

Since going public last Friday morning, there has been a wave of enthusiasm to better these waterfront sites. On Saturday, one day after the article, he met with Jody Falkner and began a plan of action.

Dunkirk’s great beach cleanup has been set to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 27 with all volunteers being asked to meet at the Beach House Grill. It will begin at Wright Park, head west to the beach by the high rise before moving to Point Gratiot.

Volunteers are needed to rake the beach and seaweed, remove all debris, including beachwood and to weed wack overgrown grass. Those who are willing to show up are also being asked, if possible, to bring lawn rakes, wheel barrows, work gloves, garbage bags and weed wackers.

Robinson said he has had interest from local non-profit organizations, Boy Scouts and area citizens that, as of Monday morning, totaled more than 100 strong. “I would have just been happy if it was five or six people,” he said, noting the interest is much greater than he ever anticipated.

Both he and Falkner said a tractor, rake and front loader have been donated by Andrew Chillemi Lawncare & Landscape. However, more supplies and equipment are still needed.

“If you aren’t able to do manual labor, we’ll gladly accept donations of water, pop, hot dogs, snacks, garbage bags, gloves and ice,” Falkner and Robinson said.

Following the cleanup, volunteers are invited to gather for refreshments, hot dogs and pizza at Point Gratiot.

For information on volunteering or to make a donation, contact Falkner at 679-6147 or jlbriggs1970@gmail.com or Robinson at 785-1955.

John D’Agostino is the OBSERVER publisher. Send comments to jdagostino@observertoday.com or call 366-3000, ext. 401.

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