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What’s a “Splash Trash Tour”?

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Splash Trash Tour to promote clean beaches, waterways stops at Robinson Preserve in February

MANATEE COUNTY – Visitors to Robinson Preserve’s Valentine House will soon have an opportunity to learn about protecting beaches and the Gulf of Mexico as part of an environmental exhibit moving around the state.

The Splash Trash Tour is an arts-based, hands-on Pop Up Show that's fun for all ages, presentations to local groups and work with schools and youth. It is visiting six Florida counties in early 2017 and Manatee County is its third stop. The tour promotes dialogue and action about trash in oceans and what can be done to make a difference. Created by environmental communicator, Bette Booth, the tour is an artistic exhibit that utilizes trash items found in the ocean to create art.

“We’re extremely excited to host the tour here in Manatee County,” says Melissa Nell, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Volunteer and Education Division Manager. “The sculptures and artwork in the tour makes a striking visual impact that definitely evokes wonder at the sheer volume and diversity of trash found in our world’s oceans. By hosting the tour, we hope to not only inform viewers but to also inspire them to take action to improve the situation.”

The tour will stop at the Valentine House Feb. 15 - 25 and will be hosted in and around Robinson Preserve’s Valentine House. Throughout the tour’s stop at Robinson, a variety of special programs will be held.

“We’re particularly excited about the programs,” said Nell, “Participants will have the opportunity to create a piece of art to add to the tour.”

On both Feb. 18 and 25 guided tours of the exhibit will be hosted at the site, from 9 - 11 a.m. and from 2 - 4 p.m., with each event including hands-on activities to further the learning experience.

A grand opening for the exhibit will be held Friday, Feb. 17 from 4 - 7 p.m. The tour’s artist Bette Booth will be present to host and there will be light refreshments to celebrate. Additional programs during the week will include two library talks, one for adults and one for children, and several homeschool programs too.

Walton County was the first stop on the Tour and the response was overwhelming, Booth says. In the first week the tour worked with high school science classes, presented at the local college, created beach trash art with a local 4-H club and held the Pop Up Show at the 4-H Pancake Breakfast. More than 200 people participated and half of those made a public commitment to adopt a new habit that will reduce plastic in the ocean.

Additional Contact Information

Melissa Nell

Vounteer/Education Coordinator, Manatee County Government

(941) 748-4501 x6042