SANFORD, Fla. — It’s Earth Day weekend and Seminole County along with the city of Sanford and the St. Johns Riverkeeper have all partnered together to keep parks alongside the St. Johns River clean of waste.

What You Need To Know

  • Seminole County, City of Sanford and the St. Johns Riverkeeper partnered together for St. Johns River Cleanup

  • About 175 volunteers went out to protect Seminole County's waterways by removing litter from the St. Johns River and its shoreline on Earth Day weekend

  • The event is part of the St. Johns Riverkeeper's collaborative, month-long Great St. Johns River Cleanup, hosted by partners throughout the watershed

On a typical Saturday morning, you can find David Yoder at his home, but this weekend was just a little different.

Yoder is the president of a regional chapter of Sri Sathya Sai International, and members helped out as part of the cleanup.

“We would probably be looking to plant trees or I’d be working on my yard, planting trees,” he said. “That’s one of the things we’re trying to do as an organization around the nation. We’re trying to plant a million trees.”

Some members shared why they decided to dedicate their time to the cause.

“It’s very important because our environment is affected by everything we throw away,” said Maria Graham, a volunteer. “Right now our oceans are suffering, not only that every tree that you see around here gets affected by it and the beauty of it. It spoils the whole beauty of it: nature.”

The group began the walk, looking for trash and waste to be picked up along downtown Sanford’s shoreline.  

Grace Hamilton, another volunteer with the group, says moments like these make her emotional, being able to take in all the Earth’s beauty.

“I care about this planet more than anything and if I talk about it long enough, I’ll just start crying,” she said. “I like to do everything I can. Whether it’s animals, plants, trash, or rivers, whatever.”

The group may have been small in numbers, but they were mighty in effort with bags filled with trash, with smiles on their faces.

This event is part of the St. Johns Riverkeeper’s collaborative, month-long cleanup.