Austin business owner facing challenges with COVID-19 spends free time cleaning up Lady Bird Lake


AUSTIN (KXAN) – An Austin man is stepping up to clean up popular spots along Lady Bird Lake.

Dustin McInvale says he was fed up with all the graffiti under the Barton Springs Road bridge he paddle boards under.

“Ugly, really vulgar graffiti,” McInvale said. “This area means a lot to me and I am down here a lot.”

McInvale says over the past few months, the graffiti has continued to get worse.

“There has always been a little bit, but there has been a dramatic increase this summer,” he said.

McInvale wanted to do something, so he decided to fix the issue himself.

“I wanted to restore it and I knew I could do it with just a little bit of time and energy,” he said.

McInvale and his girlfriend started Blind Sally’s, a paddle board company on Lady Bird Lake, and using one of the paddle boards, he went to work. After about three hours, and half a can of paint, the graffiti was gone.

“It feels like a duty,” McInvale said. “Being in Austin, I have always felt this way.”

McInvale says with the COVID-19 pandemic, business hasn’t gone as planned for his company, but some things have their own rewards.

“Even though I might not be financially where I’m at, or the business isn’t where I want it to be, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go out and do my simple duty to help out the community,” McInvale said.

Once a month, his company spends the day picking up trash along Lady Bird Lake.

The next free trash cleanup will be Oct. 17. There are 10 spots available. You can sign up by reaching out to Blind Sally’s on their website, and those that help earn a $20 credit for a future paddle boat tour.

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