When Ashton Cradit moved to Beaufort in 2019, she began searching for opportunities to meet people and give back to her new community.

“I was unable to find what I was looking for, and the more I walked my dog around, the more I became frustrated with the amount of litter I saw,” she says.

Eventually, Ashton decided to organize something herself.

“I started a Facebook group, named it Beaufort Litter Patrol, and got to work putting the intention out there for monthly clean-ups. My idea quickly came to a pause for about a year while we navigated 2020.”

In time, Ashton says, she came to realize that, as important as this continuing effort was to the local environment, it was equally important to helping re-establish a safe sense of community, post-pandemic.

“Social connection through service and in combination with nature brings its own special form of healing,” she says.

It’s now been two years since the organization’s first official Community Clean-up.

“It has been incredible to watch the growth in volunteers and interest for more,” Ashton says. “Currently, we meet once a month, coming together for a community clean-up. After our time spent cleaning, I always have hand sanitizer and a treat ready (usually popsicles or cookies) to show my thanks to the volunteers. We’re so grateful to Shellring Aleworks, as well, for supporting our clean-ups. When we finish cleaning up and having our tasty treat, we like to meet at Shellring for cheers well done! The first drink is on us and there are non-alcoholic drinks as well!”

“Ultimately, our mission is to build community by giving back to the one place that we ALL call home… and to make it fun!” Ashton continues. “We have a vision to continue building this mission with additional clean-ups, and a goal to plan a half-day festival with yoga, a community clean-up, music, food, and all-around good times!”

Anybody interested in donating to the ongoing efforts of the Beaufort Litter Patrol can donate to https://gofund.me/8f0176ca

To stay up to date with clean-ups and plans, Beaufort Litter Patrol on Facebook or email ashtonkcradit@gmail.com with the subject line BLP.

Ashley Cradit will be speaking about Beaufort Litter Patrol at Green Drinks Beaufort on September 5th. For more information, visit Greendrinks Beaufort on Facebook.