Pre-Earth Day cleanups and celebrations begin



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Posted on April 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 21 at 12:12 PM

Earth Day celebrations are off to an early start in Austin. Several clean-up efforts and giveaways are planned throughout Thursday and Friday.

The group, Friends of Barton Springs Pool, is hosting a volunteer clean-up day Thursday. It started at 10 a.m. and runs through 6 p.m. Thursday. The group plans to scrub the popular swimming spot. The water stays 68 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

“Some people call it the soul of the city," Friends of Barton Springs Pool President Robin Cravey said. "It's a gathering place. It’s an ages old watering hole.” 

Volunteers can sign up for two-hour time slots. The group asks that you wear clothes you can get wet and bring sunblock.

The Austin Parks Foundation is also organizing an event for grounds improvement at the pool on Saturday April 23 and Saturday April 30. Volunteers should wear long pants, closed toed shoes, a hat, and bring a refillable water bottle.

Lady Bird Lake will also get a makeover Thursday thanks to volunteers. Enviromedia Social Marketing is working with the group, Keep Austin Beautiful, to remove trash from the shoreline and debris from the water.

Volunteers are meeting at two locations. One location is the Rowing Dock at 2418 Stratford Drive. The second location is at 208 Barton Springs Road on the south shore of the lake between South 1st and Congress.

Capital Metro is hosting an Earth Day Celebration Thursday to show customer appreciation. The agency says it wants to say "thank you" to riders for doing their part to protect air quality.

The free celebration starts at 2 p.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. at the North Lamar Transit Center at 8001 US Highway 183. The musical group, Conjunto Los Pinkys will play at the event. Capital Metro will also have giveaways.

According to Capital Metro, there will also be a special appearance of the Ashtrayler. It is an Airstream trailer that has been converted to an interactive mobile billboard to promote tobacco cessation.

Forty Austin ISD High School students also celebrated Earth Day early. They joined Austin Water and the Austin Youth River Watch along the Colorado River. They will experience hands-on demonstrations and study ecology on the Colorado River.

“This is a way of passing that tradition of learning about the earth, protecting the earth, and celebrating it. We want to work with young people because all the work we do now of restoring forests and protecting the river is really for them,” organizer Kevin Anderson said.

Earth Day is Friday, April 22.