Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Island Cleanup Is Today Volunteers Ready for Day's Work

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Island Cleanup Is Today Volunteers Ready for Day's Work

Article excerpt

Byline: John Carter, Times-Union staff

They're wondering what they'll find today.

Last year they found a handgun, a woman's wallet and dozens of shoes in the small mountain of trash they collected on Exchange Island Park, a river island near the Mathews Bridge.

Mostly, however, they found bottles, cans, paper and Styrofoam cups during the annual island cleanup, spearheaded by Jack Feeney, president of The Sailboat Club.

The cleanup, also sponsored by the city and U.S. Marines, is set for 9 a.m. to noon today. Feeney and other organizers have rounded up about 80 to 100 volunteers who will wear gloves, boots and bug spray and give a little blood, sweat and tears to the massive cleanup project.

But, Feeney said, they can always use more volunteers, who may want to go a little early to get registered.

Volunteers are meeting at Arlington Baptist Church, 6009 Arlington Road. Volunteers should be at least 12. Those 12 to 17 will need a notarized permission slip. A notary will be on site at the registration, but a parent or guardian must be present at the registration site. The parent or guardian needn't participate in the cleanup.

Volunteers should bring a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, sunscreen and bug spray. Trash bags, gloves and rakes will be provided, as will cold refreshments.

Last year, the Marines provided assault amphibious craft to transport volunteers from Arlington Marina to the island and back. But while those craft made quite a visual impression, they proved too slow and a little impractical for the cleanup mission, Feeney said. This year, River Dog Water Charters, a river taxi company, will ferry volunteers to and from the site.

Three towing companies will also assist: Sea Tow, Towboat US and Vessel Assist.

A variety of community and school groups are participating in today's cleanup, including the Exchange Club, the UNF Sailing Club, The Bolles School, the Rudder Club, Jacksonville University, the Rudder Club, Coca-Cola, Safe Harbor Boys Home, Jacksonville Area Wind Surfers, St. …

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