Budget cuts leave PBC natural parks asking for clean up help

Clean up help needed for PBC natural parks

JUPITER, Fla. - The signs at natural parks in Palm Beach County say don't dump, but junk is still piling up.

From tires to TVs, county crews are finding trash and more to clean up.

Palm Beach County budget cuts have slimmed the crew so it's a struggle to keep it clean, which is why they're now asking for the public's help.

George Gresseth comes to Delaware Scrub Natural Area park a couple of times a week for a walk.

"It's a pleasant place," Gresseth said. "There's some turtles and stuff.  You never know what you're going to find in here."

Lately,  Palm Beach County workers are finding a lot of trash in their 29 different natural parks.
 
"Beer bottles, plastic bags, plastic fast food containers and then you can go all the way up to toilet tanks, refrigerators, stoves and cars," listed Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Manager Ann Mathews.

Ann Mathews had a long list of things she's cleaned, but due to budget cuts the county doesn't have a long list of workers on staff.

There are about 35 people managing 31,000 acres of parks right now, Mathews said.

"You can do the math in your head and you know that's a lot of land to help out with," she said.

That's why Mathews is looking for volunteers to help clean it up.

"It makes our job that much easier so we can do more with less," Mathews said.

On some of Gresseth's walks he's already done his part, but doesn't plan on helping more if the county needs it.

"I think that would be a great idea especially those of us that use it," Gresseth said.

Keeping the parks clean, as a community.

Here are a list of clean ups you can help with:

Saturday, June 9, 2012
Trash Removal at Delaware Scrub Natural Area
8 a.m. to 11a.m.

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Trash Removal at Lake Park Scrub Natural Area
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Trash Removal at Pondhawk Natural Area
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Trash Removal, Exotic Plant Removal at High Ridge Scrub Natural Area
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Volunteers can register for an event by either calling 561-233-2426 or emailing amathews@co.palm-beach.fl.us .

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