JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Multiple agencies and volunteers spent their Saturday morning cleaning up McCoy's Creek.
North Florida Land Trust, the St. Johns River Keeper, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful and many other agencies came together from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday morning to help revitalize and promote the importance of the creek.
There were eleven different sites on the creek where people gathered Saturday morning to pick up trash and evaluate the creek. Some of the locations included Hollybrook Park in Riverside, Powers Park in Murray Hill, and Westbrook Park.
Joe Crespi with Cleaning up McCoy's Creek was out Saturday morning and says the goal was to give people the opportunity to paddle in the creek, promote eco-tourism and help pick up trash that ends up in the creek.
"I think it's a never ending job," Crespi said. "I think it's something that needs to be taken care of. Like anything else it takes time and hopefully eventually we can restore some serious flow to this creek."
Crespi says an official plan needs to be made on how to keep the creek in good condition, but that the number of people who helped this morning is a great start.
"It's awesome. I think it says a lot about the city, a lot about the people," Crespi said. "A lot of people care about this place so it makes us get up everyday."
Volunteers say people try to get together at least a month to clean the trash out of the creek. Another problem with McCoy's Creek is the flooding.
Paul Pullen with Moppin' Up McCoy's said he and his wife have been cleaning the creek for years and said people don't realize the trash they throw in the street ends up in the creek.
"All the storm drains empty out in the creek so whatever rain happens, all the trash people throw into the storm drains comes flooding right out and we find ourselves doing this about once a month," Pullen said. "Coming out here and cleaning the creek, picking up all the plastic bottles and stuff."
After the clean up ended around noon, the Emerald Necklace Festival started that will last until 4 p.m.
The festival will encourage people to learn, engage, inspire, and enjoy the McCoy's Creek community.
Community organizations will be on hand to share their expertise on the environment, history and healthy living.
Children's activities, live music, food trucks and more will also be at the event.
Volunteers said they were very excited about the turn out and hope to continue providing awareness on the importance of McCoy's Creek.
"More people know about this creek and know how much of a joy it is for Jacksonville to have this creek," Pullen said. "It's not just a ditch. It has a name. McCoy's Creek."