By Rita Thiel
The Ocracoke School Beta Club held its first community litter pick-up of the year on Saturday.
Clean-Up Committee chairperson, Becky Boos, organized the event, which collected 23 bags of trash from village streets.
“Students wanted more community service activities,” said Michael Shoemaker, high school social studies teacher and teacher coordinator for Beta Club. “They want to be more involved with helping the community come together.”
The clean-up began with Beta Club students gathering at the school for their supplies (garbage bags, gloves and vests) and, upon checking Boos’ map of the village, deciding in which area they would pick up trash.
Several community members who volunteered received supplies from Boos, who then assigned them areas.
Almost the entire Beta Club participated in the event, along with several island residents. The safety vests were donated by Howard Bennink and Keith Gaskins and the group used other supplies leftover from previous pickups.
Boos, who is in her first year of Beta Club, related the difficulties of organizing the event.
“The most difficult thing was trying to get everyone on the same page so it could run smoothly and all the areas get done,” she said.
Some of the more interesting items that were collected were a wheelchair, a hypodermic insulin needle and a full dolphin skeleton, head attached.
She would gladly do another litter pick-up.
“Maybe we can have one on the beach next time,” said Boos. Ideas for next time are already forming. Shoemaker would like to include recyclable materials, collecting them separately so they don’t end up with the trash.
Boos would like to get more of the community on board and participating.
“Nobody wants to live in filth,” she said. “People get to do something good for the environment and ourselves.”