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April 19, 2007

The Hillsborough River will get a dose of spring cleaning this Sunday, April 22 when Lowry Park Zoo’s Boy Scouts of America Zoo Troop 47 holds its annual cleanup from 8 a.m. until noon. The cleanup will focus on the Lowry Park Boat Ramp area and River Park by the Sulphur Springs water tower.

Other volunteer groups, including Cub Scouts and their parents, Orange Grove Middle School volunteers, and teachers from the Lowry Park Zoo’s “Zoo School,” will assist in the cleanup.

The Zoo Troop received a $3,325 grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s 2007 Community Education Grant Program to help pay for signage and supplies for the River Cleanup project. The grant funding comes from the District’s Hillsborough River Basin Board, which includes portions of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties.

Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful is providing the troop cleaning supplies and the Tampa Water Department is donating items the scouts will include in 50 River Survival Kits that will be distributed to local homeowners who live along the river. The scouts also developed a flier to distribute to residents along the river, letting them know about the cleanup and informing them about watershed issues.

Cleanup participants will catalog trash and submit the results to Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful as part of their Great American Cleanup project efforts.

The second phase of the project will be conducted on May 6 and includes an on river cleanup using the Zoos ecotour pontoon boat.

For more information about how you can participate, please contact Peter Cruikshank, Scoutmaster, at 813-432-7030.

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