By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
Since the Keep South Padre Island Beautiful committee has been operating solely on donations, committee member Jan Whittington suggested that the group hold a winter fundraiser holiday home tour. Tour hosts throughout the community would offer their decorated homes for participants to visit and enjoy the decorations. The committee felt that the event would create awareness about KSPIB and their mission and agreed to organize the festive fundraiser. Members hope to draw in visitors from across the Valley.
At the last Keep SPI Beautiful meeting, Chairman Susan Dalton asked committee members to come up with project ideas to consider for the future, especially for the beautification of the bay and city streets. The committee shared and discussed some new ideas at their meeting last Thursday.
Chairwoman Dalton encouraged the committee to bring fresh ideas saying, “One of the things that we discussed in our last meeting was that we are not just keep ‘South Padre Island beach beautiful,’ we’re ‘Keep South Padre Island Beautiful.’ So we really wanted to make sure that we are not leaving or ignoring other things on this island that really need to be done, and we are the candidates to do that.”
In an effort to clean up the bay side, long-time committee member Elaine Sanchez suggested the committee join in with the Keep Texas Waterways Clean program, which provides support and supplies for waterway cleanups across Texas. The program provides volunteers with materials including bags, gloves, sunscreen and trash grabbers for their cleanup.
In regards to beautification of the City, Sanchez hoped to begin distribution of seeds for plants like milkweed, which are known to attract butterflies, during events and functions rather than plastic toys and trinkets. Members also plan to keep up their work with the Butterfly Garden, focusing on planting native varieties, with a designated native plant each month to encourage residents to grow their own and to donate plants to the garden.
Another idea brought up was the collection of used fishing line with stations at piers and marinas throughout the City to encourage anglers to minimize pollution by keeping used line out of the water. Environmental Health Director Victor Baldovinos told the committee that a station has been placed on County property at the jetties by SPI Environmental Health Services Code Enforcement Officer Cipriano Torres and his son. The committee decided to look into partnering with the duo as well as with Sea Turtle, Inc., who previously offered aid in the project.
Dalton said, “We need to identify who we can work with, what’s coming up, and how we can work with them.” The committee decided to form a subcommittee to further explore the new ideas and scheduled their first meeting for Nov. 4.
Next month’s KSPIB meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12.
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