Timucuan Parks Foundation’s Student Self-Guided Cleanup Program begins again on MLK Day

Students can earn community service hours from Monday, Jan. 18 through March 14 by collecting litter at a park

Timucuan Parks Foundation (TPF) is asking for volunteers to pitch in and help clean up Jacksonville’s parks and preserves on Monday, Jan. 18 for MLK Day of Service, a nationwide observance celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In particular, TPF is kicking off their “Student Self-Guided Cleanups” program for the winter by once again offering students a chance to earn community service hours starting on MLK Day and running through the end of spring break, on March 14. During this time students can visit a local park or preserve to pick-up litter and earn two hours of community service.

“Since we still can’t safely host volunteer cleanups, we are offering students a chance to be environmental stewards and earn community service hours by helping us pick up litter and taking care of the health of our preservation parks,” said Felicia Boyd, program and outreach director for TPF. “More people than ever are getting outside and using the parks, and while we encourage everyone who visits our parks to leave no trace, it doesn’t always happen, which is why this program is so important for our parks.”

Students can visit timucuanparks.org/parks/ to choose a preservation park for their cleanup event. Each student will need to spend 1.5 hours or more picking up litter and must document the work with a photo. Pictures and the location should be uploaded to social media and tagged with @timucuanparks and/or #tpfcleanup, or sent directly to volunteer@timucuanparks.org. Pictures can be before and after photos, selfies, pictures of the group working and a final one with the filled trash bags. Following the cleanup event, students will need to fill out an online form at https://www.timucuanparks.org/self-guided/.

TPF suggests going with a family member or friend, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Volunteers should bring three to four large trash bags, protective gloves, insect repellent, sunscreen, water and a snack. For more information, email volunteer@timucuanparks.org or visit https://www.timucuanparks.org/self-guided/.