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Volunteers clean up Jacksonville’s riverwalks Saturday

First Riverwalk cleanup in months held Saturday
First Riverwalk cleanup in months held Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Riverwalk cleanup Saturday morning also targeted nearby parks and neighborhoods in an effort to beautify the city’s Northbank and Southbank along the St. Johns River.

Organizers said they hadn’t been able to host an event like this since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, they handed out hand sanitizer and masks along with the normal trash pickers.

“Downtown Dwellers -- we were doing some cleanup’s periodically before that because we’re much smaller groups, so it’s nice to be collaborating with all these other organizations doing a much bigger event,” said Trish Bradshaw with the Downtown Dwellers group. “I think everybody’s looking for activities, especially outside, so we’ve gotten a really good response so far.”

Participants focused on the Northbank near the former Jacksonville Landing, the Southbank behind Riverplace Tower and Gefen Park in the Brooklyn area of Riverside.

“I just came out for myself. I just moved into town and wanted to help out in the community,” said downtown resident Ricardo Robalino. “I fell in love with the city. I live in downtown too, so it’s a great cause first of all, and then it’s just one of those things where you meet people.”

UNF student Kyle Cohen said his leadership class for his MBA encourages community involvement.

“We wanted to take that semester that we have to give back to the community so we found this opportunity and we’re here to do our part,” Cohen said.

This was all a community effort between 904 Happy Hour, Downtown Vision, the Downtown Investment Authority, Downtown Dwellers and the city of Jacksonville.

Volunteer hours will be recorded and counted toward fulfillment of the “match” required for a city of Jacksonville grant to support a new mural and future public art projects along the Downtown Riverwalk.

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