JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This month’s Positively JAX winner is doing her part to clean up the environment. It started as a complaint and then became a passion to make a difference.
Kit Brower has earned her name as the Cedar River Sitter. If she sees trash in the river she has to get it. When we were there for this story she scooped up a glass bottle with her net, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg considering some of her finds.
“We’ve gotten some huge things. We’ve gotten televisions. We’ve gotten Bob’s barricades. We’ve gotten a lot of tires that have come out, huge chunks of Styrofoam and crates. Lots of shoes, tons of shoes, tons of light bulbs, weird things,” Brower said.
Brower said her love affair with the river developed in 2019. She and her husband moved to Hyde Park to a lovely townhouse on the Cedar River.
“That’s how it started. I was picking up those small pieces and just feeling like I was really grateful to live here. I love it here and feeling like it was becoming my job to make sure that it stayed beautiful,” Brower said.
During the pandemic, Brower decided to take her pursuit for trash off the dock and into the river. She bought her first kayak. Then she bought another one for her husband and a third one for her 10-year-old niece. Brower also sees the bigger picture.
“We have a ton of turtles, we have gar, we have bass, and it was the manatees that started coming in and the manatees eat all this,” Brower said.
Brower has removed more than 200 bags of litter from the Cedar River with her eagle eyes. If she sees a problem, she doesn’t hesitate to do something about it.
“I feel like my contributions are small. And it’s a big problem. It’s a big-picture problem. But, I think that the actions of a few can lead to really big changes,” Brower said. “And I think we could change the world if everyone just picks up a little bit.”
Brower has one challenge for all of us and it’s something that took her some time to understand.
“I was just complaining about it. And I kind of had to change my mindset into it’s not my litter, but it’s my river. I live here too, and I’ll take responsibility for cleaning it. So I don’t need anything. I would just like it if other people would do their part. And a good thing is five pieces a day. If you can do that, if you go out on a walk, it will make an impact,” Brower said.
It’s a Positively JAX impact. If you want to follow Brower’s adventures on Instagram search for the Cedarriversitter. She updates it often and shows each bag as she fills them.