In TCN's continuing discussions with St. Lucie County Commissioners, each elected representative has repeatedly stated that government has no available funds for bathrooms. And the County will not have them for the foreseeable future. Typically, when St. Lucie County constructs a durable cement block structure as bathrooms, the necessary building funds surpass $1 million.
That's not the end of it. After construction, regular weekly or bi-weekly cleaning and maintenance means adding at least $100,000 - $250,000 to the county's annual budget. Obviously, this is not a cheap commitment. Unfortunately, another societal nuisance is presently preventing the expansion of public bathrooms in parks: crime and vandalism. Over the last five years a rash of sexual crimes and vandalism has lead to the closing of many local park bathroom structures. As a casualty of the crisis, many structures have simply been locked and mothballed. This wanton damage and disregard for basic public norms has forced the County to completely reassess what it can afford within area parks.
TCN's Installation and Funding of
Blind Creek Beach's
Essay by C. A. Flick
When you drive into the Blind Creek Beach parking area, you'll see the portable toilets near the pavilion and trail to the beach. Who installed and regularly pays for these facilities?
If you answered government, you would be wrong. Treasure Coast Naturists volunteers installed the port-o-lets in 2015 and they have paid the expense ever since. TCN is able to do this because fellow beach naturists generously donate funds. Without those citizen's contributions, Blind Creek Beach would lack bathrooms.
Looking to the future, be aware that Blind Creek Beach is already adjacent to several infrastructure improvements. Hutchinson Island's main road (A1A) leading to Blind Creek Beach, has both water and sewer lines installed along its perimeter. When the time comes for building bathrooms and showers, they can be easily connected. While hook-up will still be expensive, at least underground lines are already in place to supply potable water and remove human waste. For now, the naturist crowds at Blind Creek Beach must responsibly manage themselves. As part of that mission (and as long as contributions continue), TCN will continue to supply portable bathrooms, volunteers to clean them, and funds to pay their monthly bills.
Blind Creek Beach is a wilderness county park. That means it receives minimal funding. The priority is not human. It's the protection of nature. This does not mean that citizens are not welcome. They're just a lower priority. In the pursuit of maintaining the natural environment, public money is more likely to be earmarked for ecological preservation rather than accommodating people's relief.
The current portable bathrooms in Blind Creek Beach's parking area have suffered from a few issues. Be ready for a brief discussion about bathroom science. First, it's noted that the current company that provides service arrives each Thursday. The "honey digger" worker begins by emptying the toilets, then performs a cursory cleaning, adds toilet paper, and finally adds "blue liquid". The "blue liquid" part is a key step. Without it, feces will simply mound into a vertical shaped pyramid, eventually cresting above the toilet seat. That's when the bathroom becomes utterly unusable. This situation occurred in February 2017, when a new portable toilet employee shortchanged his addition of "blue liquid".
Stinking mounds spurred a rash of complaints to County Commissioners. Callers mistakenly thought the County furnished this service. Officials in turn, alerted TCN's board. Within two days, TCN had investigated, identified the real problem, called the toilet company, and asked for improved maintenance. TCN also installed a third toilet for good measure. Lesson learned. With the proper amount of "blue liquid" pumped into the toilet's reservoir each Thursday, the port-a-johns can accommodate a large number of users. As people visit the outdoor stalls, the "blue liquid" repeatedly performs its magic. Each load dissolves, flattens, and blends into the mix. Should you ever see a mounding problem, please contact TCN immediately by clicking here. This link takes you to our Contacts page where you can send us an email.
Another issue is theft. Some irresponsible people who drive in with camper buses have been seen stealing TCN's toilet paper. That's your toilet paper. As a result, everyone suffers from these selfish acts. Should you witness theft, please write down a description of the thieves, their tag number and their vehicle's make, model, and color. Better still, take a photo with your smart phone. Then contact a TCN Beach Ambassador or call the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department. A deputy will respond and address the problem.
In the past, TCN has regularly requested that government install bathrooms and showers at Blind Creek Beach. But for the reasons stated on this web page, we are currently refraining from those unwelcome requests for the next 2-3 years. Instead we are focusing on sound beach management practices and education. TCN is handling a variety of issues including parking efficiencies, minimizing human impacts on nature, and ensuring good social interaction amongst visitors.