We celebrate National Public Lands Day on the 4th Saturday in September! Have you heard of it? Think of it like “Earth Day” but more focused on volunteer efforts. In fact, it’s typically the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort dedicated to public lands.
While COVID-19 has reduced the number of public group volunteer efforts, there are still ways to celebrate National Public Lands Day individually or as a family… you just have to be more creative!
Keeping Sanibel Beautiful
Individual Cleanup Efforts
- Beach Pickup – Hit the beach as a family, supplying everyone with gloves and a trash bag. Pick up any trash you come across. Keep a sharp eye out for small items like cigarette buts, bottle tops, and fishing line.
- River or Canal Clean Up – Hop in the boat, kayak, or paddleboard and conduct a similar clean up by water! Trash and tree debris tend to collect in the corners of canals or along docks and seawalls, causing a hazard to birds and marine life who mistake the floating objects as food.
- Bike Path Clean Up – If you like to bike or walk the trails on Sanibel Island, take some time to clean up any trash or tree debris that sometimes falls along the path. Have fun with it like the rollerblader we’ve seen gliding along the paved path, scooping up trash with a small bait net.
Sanibel Homeowner Efforts
Aside from environmental cleanup, there are ways to help keep Sanibel beautiful without leaving home! Take, for instance, the examples below.
- Keep Storm Drains Clear – Most of us have a drain pipe that runs under our driveway or a nearby storm drain along the road. Leaves, grass, and tree debris can sometimes clog drains, which causes flooding during heavy rainstorms. To ensure proper rainwater drainage, we suggest carefully raking debris from your drain or ask your lawn care company to assist.
- Limit Lawn Care Poisons – We know the challenge of keeping pesky animals and insects from ruining your landscape. Still, we try to limit the chemicals used in our yard which are toxic to wildlife and the environment. For more information, visit our blog, “Pick Your Poison Carefully.”
- NEW! Irrigation & Yard Waste Measures – The City of Sanibel just released new regulations for water conservation and yard waste collection. As a result, irrigation is permitted 2 days a week, year-round.
– Mondays & Thursdays for odd addresses
– Tuesdays & Fridays for even addresses
The city lists special circumstances on their website, linked here. Additionally, yard waste will not be collected if stored in plastic bags. Gather your yard waste in bundles, containers, or biodegradable paper lawn bags and set them on the curb for collection.
Sanibel Non-Profit Efforts
Lastly, our non-profit organizations are still hosting volunteer events (with safety cautions in place) to help keep Sanibel beautiful. Visit their websites and social media pages to find additional ways to volunteer individually. In addition, check out our blog, “9 Ways to Get Involved with the Island Community,” for more information about these amazing island organizations.