July is Park and Recreation Month, and this year’s theme is “Where Community Grows.” Jacksonville is surrounded by natural spaces saved for public benefit, the majority of which are free for all to enjoy. Here at Timucuan Parks Foundation, we are all about bringing the community to the parks. It is our mission and we do it with the community’s support.
We host programs throughout the year in coordination with our park partners to keep our parks clean and beautiful for all to enjoy and to connect people to the parks, particularly historically underrepresented communities so they can have experiences in their local national park, Timucuan Preserve.
This summer we are focused on introducing youth groups to the outdoors where they get to kayak, hike or fish while spending time with park rangers and learning about environmental stewardship. These groups are Groundwork Jacksonville’s Green Team Youth Corps summer cohort which is made up of teens from the urban core of Jacksonville; middle- and high-school boys who are being mentored by the Men of Valor organization; middle school girls from The Foundation Academy; and LGTBQ+ youth.
Not only will the kids get an outdoor adventure, but they will also participate in a service-learning project that will include trail maintenance, removal of invasive plants, shoreline cleanups, and shoreline restoration. Donations, along with grants, help fund these types of programs and projects throughout the year.
You can join us in our mission by donating or volunteering. Visit timucuanparks.org to learn more. We will see you in the parks!