BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - We first introduced you to Maggie and Ryan Caver a few years ago when they showed us the tree tunnels they were trying to save near their Baldwin County home.
The trees survived and the Caver family has thrived, adding two new members, 5-year-old Oliver, and baby Charlie-Kate. We caught up with The Cavers, who have found a way to weather the storms brought on by hurricanes and pandemics, and continue to make the beaches better near their Baldwin County home.
“When COVID hit, it shuttered our businesses. We run a charter boat and we’ve been doing professional family beach photography for 20 years,” says Ryan Caver. “So, we decided not to run the charter boat. Just turn the keys off and weather the storm.
Instead of focusing on what they couldn’t do, The Caver Family turned their attention to something they could.
Really it started with my husband. It’s kind of been a thing anywhere we go, if there’s trash, he’s going to pick it up,” explained Maggie. “When I go to the beach with Oliver, that’s one of the first things we do is pick up trash.”
Because if there’s such a thing as a clean gene, the Cavers passed it on to their son Oliver.
Maggie continued, “Oliver is actually a pretty clean kid. When I ask him to clean up his toys, he cleans up his toys. His room’s pretty clean. Oliver is a worker.”
Ryan recalled, “We’d go on two- and three-mile walks with Oliver, and he really got into picking up the trash.”
So far, Oliver has picked up over a ton of trash, which the family weighs after every trip. He sees his efforts as a way to have fun and help out.
“Picking up trash is fun. It saves the sea turtles,” says Oliver.
Now the Caver Family has found a new way to spread the word about their efforts.
“I’m always trying to make little rhymes and be cute with him and I look over and I said, Oliver, ‘Litter, litter please come here. Jump in my bucket, you’ve nothing to fear.’ And he was like, ‘Dad, that’s amazing.’ Went home and told Maggie about it and she’s like, ‘That’s kind of neat. Maybe we should write a children’s book about it.’ Next thing you know, we’ve got a children’s book.”
And in Oliver’s words, “We can do it. Can’t you see? Making a difference starts with me.”
As for living through a year, a hurricane, loss of business and a pandemic, Ryan concludes, “I can honestly say the past year has been the best in my life because I’ve spent just about every waking minute with my family.”
And Oliver agrees, “It’s fun to spend more time with my dad.”