Beach Cleanup in Jacksonville Beach, FL
There are many things you could do on a Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. rather than participate in a beach cleanup in Jacksonville Beach, FL, but as the saying goes, "don't knock it till you try it".
Jacksonville Beach, FL is home to many public parks including the ocean front park at 6th Avenue South which is where Hands on Jacksonville hosts a monthly beach clean. Located between 5th and 6th Avenue's south it has two acres filled with great public open space. There are four sun sheltered picnic areas on the outskirts of a circular lawn which in the midst hosts the Sea Express, a bronze statue, by sculptress Kristen Visbal. The Sea Express symbolizes Jacksonville Beaches desire preserve and protect public access for future generations with a young boy riding on a dolphin. The park also has two beach accesses, open play area, beach volleyball and educational kiosks. It's home to many events such as yoga and fitness groups, wildlife watchers, photographers, local residents accessing the beach and taking pets and overall is just a great place to relax for the day.
The beach cleanup groups usually consist of between 25-50 volunteers from the all over the Jacksonville and beaches communities. We don our gloves and head out into the elements to beautify this public land. Most of the trash we collect is small in nature, cigarette butts, wrappers, etc. there are plenty of aluminum cans and bottles mostly hidden in the shrubs surrounding the park and occasionally we find real interesting stuff. Today, we found a fake tree (see picture) and last month we were the proud finders of two toilet seats. Over the years we've found messages in a bottle (fyi if you're going to do that throw it when the tide is going out as the one we found was written the day before), wallets all crusty and dried out with the salt and sun, shepherds hooks, and many socks (perhaps that's where they go when they are missing from the dryer).
If you've never participated in a beach cleanup it's very rewarding. You get instant gratification as you see your work, you have the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful beach and there's something to be said for the exercise you get bending over all those times filling your bag. Today with the help of 14 people we collected 30 gallons of trash and 30 gallons of recycling in 2 hours!! So thank you HOJ for helping Jacksonville Beach, Fl stay clean.
You can find out about the monthly clean-ups through www.handsonjacksonville.com there are two monthly in Jacksonville Beach, FL.
Rosie Hetman-Clemente, Project Leader - Hands on Jacksonville owner Atlantic Shores Realty of Jacksonville, LLC. and Jacksonville Beach resident.