Marissa Vogel

Jessica Shockley and Eddie Nimibutr volunteer Saturday morning at Lady Bird Lake’s annual cleanup project.

Photo Credit: Rebeca Rodriguez | Daily Texan Staff

Dozens of Austin residents joined the throngs of dogs and joggers at Lady Bird Lake on Saturday in an annual cleanup project hosted by Keep Austin Beautiful.

The nonprofit group works in conjunction with other organizations to put on events such as the lake cleanup.

Little Helping Hands, a local nonprofit organization, was one of the groups that turned out to help. Little Helping Hands founder and executive director Marissa Vogel said about 250 total volunteers had registered for eight different sites by the lake.

“We represent families with young kids and individuals, and through Keep Austin Beautiful we get to lead this site for them,” Vogel said.

An ambitious organizer, Vogel hopes volunteering events such as the lake cleanup will lead to greater things for her organization.

“We started the organization about two years ago this month, and my inspiration was my own kids,” Vogel said. “We were trying to find opportunities for them to get out and get involved in the community.”

Other groups that participated in the cleanup included Austin Standup Paddleboarder, Capital Cruises, Expedition School, Green Feet Fitness and the Surfrider Foundation.

Little Helping Hands volunteer Monica Blackburn said she was very impressed with the level of support Keep Austin Beautiful provided.

“It’s nice working with Keep Austin Beautiful, because there is always someone you can turn to to give supplies or help out,” Blackburn said. “Every time we go out here, the runners always stop and say thank you, and that’s the best part about it.”

Volunteer Loretta King went out with her 4-year-old son that morning to clean up the lake.

“What is great about this program is that there are so many activities available, from tearing down graffiti to ripping up old computers at Goodwill,” she said. “It’s great that we can get our kids out volunteering and enjoying giving back to
the community.”