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Community clean up designed to boost environmentally-friendly habits and rally neighbors

Posted at 6:23 PM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-16 10:24:25-05
  • Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve will host a community clean up Saturday, February 17th, joined by REI Co-Op, Friends of Lake Jackson, and Leon County Commissioner Rick Minor.
  • This effort is to address trash in the area and will build on local efforts by these organizations.
  • Watch the video to find out how you can get involved and why it's necessary.


Rallying a community clean up, picking up trash, to pick up the preservation of Lake Jackson. Digging into why organizations want neighbors to get involved.

A lake creating community in Leon County, uniting nature and people, including fishermen like Ben H Boynton, who has been here, catching fish for 40 years.

"It was so much fun, to be a young boy raised on here," said Boynton, reminisicing on his experiences at Lake Jackson.

Now 67, Boynton said he takes extra care of the lake when he visits daily; to honor the community that's served him. He's encouraging everyone else to do the same.

"Oh I hope we just try a little bit forever," said Boynton.

That's a habit that Friends of Lake Jackson, Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve, REI Co-Op, and Commissioner Rick Minor have been advocating for. They're pushing this message with an upcoming community clean up.

"A good, obvious way, to do something, span a couple of hours and get results," said Sophie Wacongne-Speer with Friends of Lake Jackson, explaining the initiative. Wacongne-Speer said clean ups are regular thanks to the Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve.

In a email, they said "staff and volunteers have removed over 640 pounds of debris from both Lake Jackson and Carr Lake since the start of 2024. Last year, over 1,300 pounds of debris was removed from across the nine public landings."

Wacongne-Speer said the collection of trash is crucial as it affects wildlife here.

"Plastic maybe one of the worst problems they encounter," said Wacongne-Speer. She is encouraging neighbors to join them this weekend while they collect trash. Wacongne-Speer said it will also be an educative opportunity.

"Doing something useful, brings you satisfaction," said Wacongne-Speer.

Commissioner Minor said community clean ups play a role in honoring Leon County's strategic plan. He said a big part of that is environmental stewardship.

"Taking good care of our water bodies, as well as our parks and green spaces is important to us," said Minor.

Minor hopes neighbors will join them in this effort. For Boynton, he's motivated by his memories, and hopes you'll join him.

"I don't want to see a place like this trashed," said Boynton.

So we can build a lake, community, and environment that lasts.

Neighbors can join organizers on Saturday February 17th from 10am for the next community clean up. They ask you bring bug spray, hat, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers. Community members can sign up here.