Once again, March is St. Johns River Month!
March is a great time of the year to explore (learn how) and celebrate the river and to adopt River Friendly practices to reduce our impact on the St. Johns. During River Month, we are partnering with The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) and numerous area garden centers to provide information and workshops about River Friendly yard products and practices. Our garden center partners include: Earth Works Garden Center, Philip's Garden Store, Trad's Garden Center, Reflections of Nature Native Nursery, Native and Uncommon Plants, Plant Place Nursery, and Native Plant Consulting. Check our Events page or the websites of our partners for information about upcoming workshops.
On March 22, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful, the City of Jacksonville, and St. Johns Riverkeeper are collaborating to host the 19th annual St. Johns River Celebration and Cleanup to raise awareness and engage residents in cleaning up one of our most precious natural resources – the St. Johns River. You can find more information about cleanup locations throughout Duval County at www.stjohnsrivercleanup.com. The Clay County St. Johns River Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, March 15. Learn more about the cleanup on the Clay County website.
However, cleaning up the St. Johns doesn’t just include picking up trash along the shoreline of the river and its tributaries. Protecting our river begins at our homes and businesses by preventing trash and pollution from reaching our waterways in the first place.
Stormwater that runs off rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and streets picks up litter, debris, motor oil, fertilizers, chemicals, and pet waste along the way. Storm drains often transport this polluted water directly into our river and its tributaries untreated. Fortunately, there are many ways to minimize our impact and help protect our river and wildlife and enhance and beautify our neighborhoods.
By planting native and drought-tolerant plants; using water, fertilizers and chemicals sparingly and responsibly; removing litter and debris from our streets and storm drains; and implementing other River Friendly practices, we can each make a difference. It is also important that we speak up for our river and hold our regulatory agencies and legislators accountable for fulfilling their responsibility to protect the St. Johns on our behalf, as well.
This St. Johns River Month, let’s explore, celebrate and help protect our river. Demonstrate your pride and love for the St. Johns by participating in the cleanup, pledging to adopt a River Friendly lifestyle, contacting your elected officials to voice your concerns, and geting involved in the issues and decisions that impact the future health of your river.
Together, we can and are making a difference and will fulfill our mission to Save the St. Johns!