NewsHillsborough County


Volunteers clean along Rverwalk in preparation for the NCAA Women's Final Four Championship

Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-31 18:24:29-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Over a hundred volunteers spent their Sunday morning cleaning up trash in downtown Tampa.

From MacDill to Cotanchobee, the more than 120 volunteers cleaned up trash along the Tampa Riverwalk. Some volunteers were even in boats cleaning up the river itself.

"That's where it starts," Volunteer Sean Alton said. "If we can get out there on the water and clean up that's great."

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY NEWS | The latest headlines from Hillsborough County

Alton and others were surprised the cleanup efforts are happening before the NCAA Women's final four championships this week. Cleanup is usually after a big event, like this year's Gasparilla.

"This week is about basketball, NCAA women's college basketball," NCAA Amy Reis said. "But it's also so much more than that."

The council for responsible sports will be in town this week. They'll be taking a closer look at the city, and how clean it is. That's why the volunteers were out before the games.

"We're elevating our sustainability efforts," said Claire Lessinger.

Lessinger is the executive director for Tampa Bay Local Organizing Committee. They're working with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Tampa Electric, Tampa Bay Sports Commission and several other organizations to help Tampa earn a sustainable event certification.

"It's a huge honor for Tampa," said Lessinger.

That certification will give the city a bigger name in sports, and help the city host more big sporting events.

"We're so glad the NCAA is here. We are the place with great venues for this kind of thing," said Alton.

Tampa has two other major events coming, Wrestle-mania and the Super Bowl.