Timucuan Parks Foundation has some of the best volunteers in town who help keep the parks and preserves looking their best, and we are shining a spotlight on volunteer groups who go above and beyond for the parks like students on self-guided cleanups, the Green State Environmental Club, and TPF’s Trail Team!
Students on Self-Guided Cleanups
When COVID-19 hit last year, many students were not able to volunteer anymore at most nonprofit organizations in town due to pandemic restrictions. But they were able to get outdoors for community service by joining our (freshly adapted) self-guided volunteer program for cleanups in the parks.
The self-guided volunteer program started June 2020 and had such a great response it continued in the fall, over the holidays, in the winter and into Spring 2021. You can see photos of the students in action (and see how much they collected) at the Self-Guided page, as well as find out more about the program.
These young people really embraced the program and, since the start, 163 students from 35 different schools collected an estimated 4,000 pounds of trash from 32 different parks!
Green State Environmental Club
One group of students that shows up ready to work hard at our all-call volunteer events is Green State Environmental Club from Sandalwood High School.
Thanks to these students and Steve Sherrill, their advisor, we can count on them to swoop in in large numbers for some environmental TLC. They are wonderful examples of young people who protect the environment and who one day may serve in careers on public lands such as rangers, technicians, or biologists.
TPF Trail Team
Another group we appreciate is our Trail Team. The TPF Trail Team—a talented group of skilled adults of all ages—have spent more than 800 hours since National Public Lands Day in September cleaning up trash, maintaining trails, clearing viewsheds and overgrown walkways, weeding gardens, and removing invasive plants. Another member of the trail team, Jeff, has spent an additional 300 hours assisting NPS with deferred maintenance projects, including the rebuild of the palisade wall at Fort Caroline National Memorial.
From cutting a new path through dense overgrowth, to pulling invasive Brazilian pepper plants from the parks and clearing weeds from fence lines, to hauling trash (like 60+ buried tires!) out of the woods and the marsh, the men and women of the Trail Team are dependable eco-volunteers for sure.
Again, thank you to all of these amazing park ambassadors! Your help makes a huge difference in keeping these public lands looking beautiful for all to enjoy and keeping our waterways, wildlife, and wetlands safe and clean.
Volunteers are always needed because the parks and the resources they protect face fierce Florida forces such as heat and sun, rampant invasive plants species, flooding damage, and erosion. Please visit our Volunteer page to learn more and to sign up to volunteer in the parks.