As many students are aware, Jacksonville University is blessed with a beautiful campus on the majestic St. Johns River.
The oak lined sidewalks and late twentieth century styled architecture accent the river and the cityscape beautifully. However as of late, many residents of Jacksonville, as well as JU students, have been polluting the shores of the St. Johns.
Over this past weekend Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society, the sailing team and ECO/SOS, Environmental Conversation Organization/Student Oceanic Society participated in the first ever “River Clean Up.” Starting at 10 a.m. on Feb. 18, committed members from these clubs as well as other clubs and organizations showed up with intent to help clean up the river. For two hours straight the volunteers cleaned the river shores of JU.
The seven members who showed up filled up three 50-gallon trash bags of wet sloppy trash that included a lot of broken glass, styrofoam and plastic wrappers. Three large tires were also among the debris found along the shore of JU, likely to have fallen off one of the many barges that help navigate large cargo ships through the trade channels of the river.
Turnout from the general university, however, was less than expected. Members of Tri-Beta and ECO/SOS blame poor communication about the event. A majority of the sailing team was away this past weekend at a regatta so much of their team was not in attendance as well.
“I feel like we got a lot cleaned up and accomplished this weekend, but we could have gotten a lot more done,” said sophomore Brett Durba. “Look for future River Cleanups. We will be advertising more next time”
All three of the clubs that participated in this cleanup plan on making the next event more enticing.
“I was pleased to see the handful of committed members that did show up to the event,” said Janelle Larson, president of the ECO/SOS. “The turnout was not nearly as much as we expected, but we will be having more of these events in the future and plan to advertise much more. We got a lot of work done for how many people were there. I could not imagine what we could do with even more helping hands.”