Running Fit TC, TCAPS clean Clinch Park ahead of summer crowds

People from Running Fit Traverse City and Traverse City Area Public Schools spent Sunday morning cleaning up trash on Clinch Park's beach.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Plastic wrappers, bottle caps and containers that used to hold lunch are just some of the things that don't belong on the beach and that's why two local groups spent their weekend cleaning it up.

On Sunday morning, members of Running Fit Traverse City and students from Traverse City Area Public Schools got together to clean up Clinch Park in preparation of the crowds that will soon relax on it when the weather warms up for good.

But, how is there so much of it on the shores this time of year when the beach wasn't heavily used in colder weather?

"We can often see trash at beaches or trash in our waterways. This is often because folks haven't been out at the beach for months, so things have kinda had a chance to accumulate at our beaches or in our water. And we're also seeing a lot of snow melt. Those snow piles hold onto a lot of trash," said Heather Smith, the Grand Traverse Bay Keeper. "That collects all winter, so you can imagine a lot of cigarette butts, straws and pieces of plastic are kinda tied up in that snow bank. When those snow banks start to melt, we're seeing a lot of that end up in our waterways."

For Madison Meter, an intern with the TART trails, the beach cleanup is an encouraging sign that people are making a concerted effort to keep litter off this shoreline.

"I don't think there's anything more motivating than not only a community that takes accountability and kind of wants to take care of itself," said Meter. "To see kids in particular who come out and clean up and be present in the community is really special and I think that it speaks to sort of the nature of how things are done here."

It was just by coincidence that the two organizations scheduled beach cleanups at the same time.

The TCAPS cleanup was organized by 6th grade students from Traverse City West Middle School.

This was Running Fit's 2nd annual beach cleanup.

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