(Editor’s note: This article contains potentially offensive language, albeit language taken directly from the minutes of Carolina Beach’s Freeman Park Committee meetings.)
CAROLINA BEACH — “Pick up your shit” — it’s an in-your-face slogan that Freeman Park Committee members feel sum up their desires for visitors to the beach and park to clean up after themselves.
Carolina Beach Town Councilmember and Freeman Park Committee member JoDan Garza explained that while it sounds like a joke, it is short, to the point, and conveys the message the committee wants to send.
“The Freeman Park Committee discussed removing ash barrels and having fire pits at the campsites. They are still working on the stencils for ‘pack it in pack it out.’ Pick up your shit was the number one vote for the theme. Everyone on the committee seemed to like that because it keeps the theme of Carolina Beach. It covers two things, trash, and dog poo. Another idea was a mouth that says feed me your garbage. Once they get that nailed down and the stencils figured out, they will paint all the trash cans on the beach strand from Alabama to the north end,” according to meeting minutes from a January.
Trash pickup, especially at Freeman Park has been an ongoing problem since the town took over the operation of the land from New Hanover County, Garza said. The town has always pushed the idea of ‘Pack it in, Pack it out,” but still provided the blue trash barrels and dumpsters for visitors to the park.
Trash overflow is a common occurrence at the beach, Garza said. A lot of the times people will leave their trash next to the trash cans if they are overflowing already or if the dumpster lids are closed (which they generally are to keep rain or animals out of).
The slogan, while perhaps crass for some, does have one thing going for it in Garza’s mind — it gets your attention.
Kids would perhaps laugh at it and point it out to their parents, adults would see it and be reminded to pick up their trash and debris, and it keeps with the laid-back vibe of Carolina Beach, Garza said.
Ultimately, he said the committee wanted to get stencils made with the slogan on it to spray paint onto the trash barrels and dumpsters, but the response from the Town Manager and members of council were not exactly receptive of painting expletives on town property.
Whatever the town decides on a slogan for the park and beach strand as a whole, the message will remain the same — regardless of the language used, visitors, “pick up your shit.”
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