Maclay Gardens Marks Public Lands Day with a Volunteer Cleanup

Sep 24, 2018

Around 100 volunteers were helping out in Tallahassee's largest public garden Saturday (9/22) morning.

Volunteers and park staff pose for a group photo at Maclay Gardens State Park before Saturday's cleanup.
Credit Tom Flanigan

The scene was Maclay Gardens State Park where Sasha Craft is the park manager.

"We have tons of trail work that's always a constant upkeep," she said, checking off the list of chores awaiting the volunteers. "We have tons of invasive plants that we work hard to remove and irradicate from the property. And then in the garden we have tons of weeds and vines that grow all year long that we would help removing."

Among those helpers, the secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which runs the state park system, Noah Valenstein. He said volunteer help like this is a big reason Florida's park system is the only one to have won three national gold medals.

"We had a little under 2 million in volunteer hours just last year from the amazing folks who are just as passionate about the environment as our staff that come out and want to be part of the team and that's I think one of the most rewarding things about working for the department."

Valenstein's department was observing Saturday as National Public Lands Day.