‘Pick’-or-treat

Volunteers get a kick out of picking up trash at PEP’s Halloween-themed Spooky Cleanup

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Trick-or-treat. But make sure your Halloween candy wrappers get to the garbage—and not the side of the road.

The Protecting the Environment in Patchogue (PEP) Committee hosted its Spooky Cleanup at Lakeview Cemetery, bringing out “ghouls” and guys of all ages to remove refuse at the historic graveyard and its nearby neighborhood.

“They did a great job cleaning up the cemetery as well as the perimeter of the cemetery, along Waverly and in the YMCA parking lot,” said Lacey Keefer, a PEP volunteer.

Some participants dressed in Halloween costumes; others came as themselves. Don Wachsmuth didn’t dress up, but collected a bag full of debris while along the street-side of the Waverly Avenue perimeter. By the end of the cleanup, he’d amassed an entire bag of detritus including umbrellas and… a hubcap.

The hubcap was the strangest find of the day, according to Keefer, who led the day’s event. 

The youngest volunteers were invited to pick out candy at trick-or-treat stations, complete with orange jack-o’-lanterns, which were set up throughout the cemetery. The tactical diversion was sweet relief for some parents, who brought their children along for the pick, allowing them to continue cleaning as the kids got a sneak peek of the upcoming Halloween holiday, to be held this year on a Sunday.

The event also served as an opportunity for some beautifying, as the group planted flowers inside the cemetery. As a thank-you gift, participants were given PEP’s pollinator seed mix, a wildflower mix meant to attract bees.

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