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Hilton Head Island now offering toy box for community to use on beach days

Visitors to Hilton Head Island’s beaches can now take a more active role in keeping the beach...
Visitors to Hilton Head Island’s beaches can now take a more active role in keeping the beach clean while making sure the kids are having fun, too.(WTOC)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - Visitors to Hilton Head Island’s beaches can now take a more active role in keeping the beach clean while making sure the kids are having fun, too.

If you’ve ever had a beach day on Hilton Head, you’ve probably seen it. People get tired at the end of the day and they leave their toys behind. Well now if you find those toys, you can drop them off in the community toy box at Islanders Park. And, even better, if you come to Islanders Park you can borrow those toys for the day.

Shore Beach Services and the turtle tracking groups on Hilton Head scan the beaches at the beginning and end of each day looking for items left behind. Last year, over 1,800 toys were recovered from the beach. Many of them ended up being thrown in the trash or donated to thrift stores.

But now, the Town, turtle trackers, and patrols are finding a better way to use those toys. At Islander’s Beach, a community toy box has been installed. The rules are simple: you can take a toy for the day and either give it back or take it home. The groups already know toys will likely be recycled and the selection will continue to grow or shift.

The organizers say this is a great tool because it will encourage people to avoid leaving toys on the beach where they could be a danger to turtles.

“If you wind up having the hatchlings, they are only three inches long. And they crawl into a bucket? How are they going to get out? And that was the whole idea behind this and all the hole ordinance is to try and keep the beaches as natural as possible so it increases the success rate of the hatchlings,” said turtle tracker Chris Rush.

The toy box at Islander’s Park is the only one so far, but they are hoping they can expand to every publicly accessible beach.

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