GULF SHORES, Alabama (WALA) — A local boy is cleaning up area beaches and inspiring others to also join in.
5-year-old Oliver Caver is on a mission to clean up area beaches. This weekend is all about West Beach Pass in Gulf Shores. And when it comes to trash — little Oliver doesn’t miss a thing.
“We’ll get it on the way back… Let’s walk out here. See it’s like once he sees it — he doesn’t stop,” said Ryan Caver, Olivers dad.
Dad Ryan recalls it all began with the pandemic when they started taking walks on the beach.
“And when we started walking the beaches when COVID hit — he really got into it… We kind of let him run with it,” recalled Ryan.
And boy did he.
“Here’s a can,” said Oliver. “Somebody smoked and drank on their day off.”
Picking up all kinds of things left behind in the sand.
“How much trash have you guys picked up? Oliver: Like almost two tons. Two tons? — Do you weigh it? — Oliver: I do.”
They find lots of cups, bottles, straws, shoes, and socks, just to name a few common items.
For Oliver it’s not work — but fun. They’ve even made it into a learning game.
“At first he started counting — 1, 2, 3… for each piece of trash. Two weeks later he’s counting up to 100. It’s just amazing,” explained Ryan.
They’ve even started a competition — they call them “litter rodeos” — to see who can collect the most trash.
Oliver was recently awarded PETA’s “Hero to Animals Award” for his efforts, which ultimately helps area wildlife.
They’ve even started an organization called “Clean Horizons” to encourage others to do their part.
You could say it’s a family affair — even Mom Maggie and little sister Charlie help pick up litter.
And some of that trash they find is recycled into colorful works of art.
“It’s like a treasure map to me… Like I remember like that was on a beach down in Fort Morgan and he was actually racing to get it… Yeah it’s just trash but when we find those things… It’s like oh — this is going to go great in art,” said Ryan.
Their adventures have also inspired a children’s book titled: “Litter, Litter, Please Come Here.”
“And in the book it says tell your friends let’s clean this place… Pick it up… Let’s have a race whoever grabs the most will be the winner — we’ll give them a prize — a chicken dinner,” said Ryan.
If you would like to join in on the fun — they’re having a litter rodeo on Saturday, June 26th — with lots of prizes on hand for the winners.
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