Makenna Reel

No one can say that Tampa Mayor Jane Castor isn’t true to her word.

After promising a few weeks ago at a community forum at Coffee Speaks & Tea Talks in Pebble Creek (as we reported last issue) to come take part in a trash pick-up event planned by Clark Elementary fourth grader Makenna Reel, the mayor, despite having to be at the Gasparilla Distance Classic in downtown Tampa at 5:30 a.m., showed up for the roadside trash pick-up right on time.

“I was still a little surprised,” said a smiling Makenna. “She could have been there or not been there, but she took time out of her day to be there.”

Castor met with many of the volunteers and posed for pictures while encouraging the cleanup of the parking lot at The Walk At Highwoods Preserve shopping center, at the corner of Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. and Bruce B. Downs Blvd., only a mile or so from Makenna’s school.

“This is our home and I think it’s critically important that we keep it clean,” Castor said. “To see litter out in the community, it sends a message that we don’t care about Tampa. So, it’s a huge focus of mine, and I’ll continue to focus for the next four years on keeping Tampa clean.”

Makenna started the Green Clean club at her school after builders of a new roof at Clark left debris behind. She also planned the Feb. 25 cleanup, and was joined by more than two dozen volunteers, who collected about 20 bags of garbage. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, which provided the bags and gloves, also picked the trash up after it had been collected.

Makenna said the event, her first outside of school property, was a success and added that she’d like to do more.

“I was thinking about going to Flatwoods Park, or maybe I’ll take some suggestions,” Makenna said. “I want everyone to be a part of it.”

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