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JUPITER, Fla. - It’s just after sunrise at DuBois Park and perfect saltwater fishing weather for the Folmer brothers, but they pass a lot of trash to get to the dock.
“I think people are just lazy. There’s trash cans everywhere, and they throw it on the ground,” said Mike Folmer.
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Folmer is detailing plastic beverage containers, Styrofoam cups, water bottles, baby diapers and glass alcohol bottles that he passed Monday morning. It’s a sight people who frequent the park daily say greet them far too often.
“People will always leave their garbage,” said Kristy Kreiger. “You can’t control the people who don’t realize that it’s offensive. “
To raise public awareness of the problem, regular visitors have taken to social media and have also organized clean-up events to support county maintenance workers.
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Office of Public Engagement says in addition to five maintenance workers in constant rotation at DuBois, volunteers also play a huge role.
“They help to reduce the carbon footprint,” said Anthony Austin, recreation volunteer coordinator within the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation’s Office of Public Engagement. “They’re very passionate and engage other people in the community and they help reduce the amount of money that we’d have to spend to hire people to do work and they just add value and equity to our community.”
This fiscal year, the county reports 4,056 volunteers have assisted keeping all 85 parks maintained. But DuBois Park ranks as one of the highest for garbage which county officials say suggests a need for public help.
Currently $34 million is budgeted annually for maintaining and operating all 85 Palm Beach County parks.
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation’s Office of Public Engagement is looking to add to its volunteer roster and are open to comments and suggestions from the public. To learn more, click here.