Spring EcoFest held at McGough Nature Park

04/14/09 Andrea Lypka
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The Spring EcoFest was held on April 11 at McGough Nature Park and featured something for everyone: nature walks, music, free tree give-a-way, environmental presentations and live wildlife demonstrations.

The nature center housed live animal exhibits. Children could do arts and crafts, hunt for Easter eggs, and learn about eco-friendly activities. Representatives from environmentally friendly businesses and organizations provided information on ways to help protect the environment.

William Sanders, executive director of Keep Pinellas Beautiful, has been working at the organization for 12 years improve local communities. He said 18 local schools recycled 3,000 pounds of PET bottles last year. Keep Pinellas Beautiful gave awards to Thurgood Marshal Middle School, Pinellas High School and Walsingham Elementary School for their help reducing litter and recycling in Pinellas County.

Jake Respondek from the Suncoast chapter of the Surfrider Foundation handed out literature about beach conservation and protection. He said that each year, over one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals die from ingestion of or entanglement in plastics. He educated the public about this danger and to attract more children to participate in their beach cleanups.

Several animal rescue organizations were present, including the Tampa Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, SPCA.

Megan Deveau who has been a volunteer at the organization for three years, said that pets become a victim in this bad economy. The Big Cat Rescue was represented by Beth Bluder who has been volunteering there for five years. She raised awareness about the dangers of exotic pet keeping and about their nonprofit organization that is home for 135 cats. “We are trying to change the laws about owning exotic pets,” she says.

Marissa Segundo, Recycling Coordinator for the city of Largo, instilled the importance of the recycling into the community and she also promoted Largo’s Trashy Fashion Show on April 22 at the Largo Cultural Center. Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Largo Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund.

For more information, visit the city of Largo’s website at Largo.com.

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