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Barbara Kelshaw took part in the 2018 Cotee River Cleanup. The public is invited to join this year’s effort, set for Sept. 21.

NEW PORT RICHEY — It’s cleanup time in New Port Richey.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department will stage its 2019 Cotee River Cleanup starting at 8 a.m., Sept. 21. The effort is open to the public and last year’s event attracted more than 300 people.

Cleanup crews will gather at the Sims Park Boat Ramp and participants can help on shore and on the water. Canoers, kayakers, boaters and paddle boarders are welcome to join others who pick up trash on foot from the shoreline.

Individuals who do not own kayaks or paddle boards can rent their watercraft of choice at downtown’s Get Outside Sales and Rentals, 5780 Main St. If requested, the store will deliver kayaks to the boat ramp on the day of the event.

Following the morning cleanup, participants will be provided with a thank-you lunch at Sims Park that includes barbeque, hot dogs, chips and water. Cotee River Cleanup t-shirts will be given out at registration.

For more information on the Cotee River Cleanup, contact the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center at 727-841-4560.

NPR Youth Advisory Board honored

NEW PORT RICHEY — The New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department Youth Advisory Board received the 2019 Florida Recreation and Park Association Voluntary Service Award at an event in Orlando last month.

According to the city, YAB members were recognized at the FRPA’s 2019 Awards Banquet, on Aug. 28. The FRPA presents the award to only one volunteer group from all the parks and recreation departments throughout the state. The award was created in 1997 and is usually given to adult volunteer groups. The New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department YAB is the only group to have ever received the award twice, with the first coming in 2010.

The FRPA Voluntary Service Award is presented to citizens, businesses or organizations whose contributions of volunteer service over a period of time, have improved the quality and quantity of leisure opportunities through parks, recreation and leisure service programs and projects in neighborhoods, communities, or the state of Florida.

Some of the many events, programs and advocacy activities YAB members organize or take part in include the Children’s Winter Art Show, Trunk-or-Treat, Cotee River Cleanup projects, the Sept. 11 Memorial event, street cleanup projects and the RAP River Run.