Hundreds of volunteers pitch in to clean up banks of St. Johns River

News4Jax partnered with Beaches Go Green for a Jax Community Clean Up on Sunday. Hundreds of volunteers pitched in to clean the west bank of the St. Johns, from the Acosta Bridge and all the way to Riverside Park.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was all hands on deck on Sunday morning as hundreds of volunteers cleaned the north bank of the St. Johns River, from the Acosta Bridge down to Memorial Park and all the way to Riverside Park.

News4Jax partnered with Beaches Go Green for a Jax Community Clean-up.

Beaches Go Green Founder Anne Marie Moquin told News4Jax the event means more than just picking up trash off the streets.

“It’s not just about cleaning up the actual trash, it’s about creating awareness,” said Moquin.

For two hours, starting at the Winston YMCA volunteers got their hands dirty in hopes to keep the community clean. Within the first hour of the event, 2,000 pounds of trash were picked up. There were even some interesting discoveries like a big red car bumper.

“We’ve already found some pretty strange personal items. I mean a lot of trash a lot of space to make trash,” said Hope and Miaya Miller, volunteers.

“The trash shouldn’t be here at all for us to pick up but obviously we have to get the trash that’s already here. We have to come and pick it up,” said Ranya Benchaaboune and Lilliana Leitao, volunteers.

In two hours, 273 volunteers collected 56 bags of trash, 16 bags of recyclable material and 4,426 cigarette butts. The event contributed $17,325.24 in volunteer hours and trash abatement to the city. More than 10 local school sent volunteers including students from Mayport Middle School, Ponte Vedra High School, Nease High School, Bartram Trail High School, Mandarin High School, Tocoi Creek High School, Fletcher High School Greenwood School, Episcopal School of Jacksonville and Bishop Kenny High School.

Local businesses and non-profit organizations that participated included First Coast Surfrider, Sea Shepherd Jax, Eco Eclectic, GAIA Eco, Apple Rabbit Composting, Wavos, Shop Joyful, Anact, Lunar Sol, Keep Jax Beautiful and Native Jax Landscaping.

The next cleanup date isn’t set yet, but on-site registration will be available.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.