More than 300 residents Saturday dug in and cleaned up the beach sand in the Bridgewater Channel as part of the city-led event for National Public Lands Day.
The cleanup is all part of the city’s larger effort to get white sand beaches, add more trees and beautify the Bridgewater Channel beaches.
“It was unbelievable,” said Mayor Mark Nexsen of Saturday’s event.
City leaders asked people to show up by 7:30 a.m. at the lighthouse near Rotary Beach. Many individuals had already arrived by 7 a.m. and had started working, Nexsen said. He said he had planned to make a thank you speech at 7:30 a.m., but decided against that after seeing everybody all spread out and dug in.
“I was absolutely thrilled by the number of people that showed up,” Nexsen said.
When the cleanup was completed, 75 tons of rocks were removed by dump trucks and were taken to the far end of Rotary Park. Some brush and a few odd items including an electrical wire and a broken off sign were found in the cleanup as well.
“The hard working crowd jumped right in,” Nexsen said. They finished the mainland side at about a quarter to 10 a.m. and London Bridge Beach was finished at about 10:30 a.m., he added.
Next is the city’s process to obtain white sand for the beaches.
The city has $50,000 to spend on sand and was originally going to piggyback on Lake Havasu State Park’s work getting white sand for all of its beaches. Instead the city is opting to send the project out to bid.
If possible, Nexsen said he wanted the city to get the white sand on the beaches in November.
“When you have that many volunteers show up, it’s important to move quickly (toward the goal),” Nexsen said.
If the bid for the white sand is more than $40,000, it will have to be approved by the City Council.
The city also is looking to obtain a vehicle, which could cost in the mid $20,000 range, to groom the new sand once it’s put in place, Nexsen said.
The $50,000 originally was set aside for a consultant work on the city’s channel beaches, but Nexsen said the city already knew what it needed to do and decided to go ahead with the beautification project instead.
Costs for the sand grooming vehicle will come out of the city’s vehicle replacement fund.
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