By Savanne Giroire, Marketing Assistant
Interested in learning more about conservation organizations doing the work to ensure the health of our growing city’s natural environments? Keep reading for information on conservation efforts, resources, educational opportunities and ways to volunteer through these initiatives!
St. Johns River Keeper
The St. Johns River Keeper’s vision is to ensure a clean and healthy river for current and future generations. They host monthly cleanups at McCoy’s Creek- as well as other environmentally-centered events fit for all ages- led by Rising Tides, St. Johns Riverkeeper’s young professionals group. Coming soon to the Riverside Arts Market: join a St. Johns River Keeper Educator on the third Saturday of each month on board the St. Johns River Taxi and learn about your St. Johns River and the ways you can help protect it.
St. Johns River Keeper also hosts EcoAdventures once a month along the banks of the St. Johns River or a tributary. You’ll discuss the history, ecology, and issues facing the river while taking part in activities and using materials distributed per-family. For added fun, each EcoAdventure even has its own theme!
North Florida Land Trust
North Florida Land Trust is a local land conservation 501(c)3 organization focused on preserving and enhancing our quality of life by protecting North Florida’s natural environment. They have a service area of 7 counties in Northeast Florida and work on an as-needed basis throughout the state. Their headquarters are based in Downtown in the Old Brewster Hospital– a historic building that served as the first hospital for African Americans in Jacksonville.
The NFLT encourages residents to feel more connected to our native environment by implementing collaborative approaches for long-term solutions, in proportion to the recent, rapid population growth seen in Northeast Florida. By protecting more of North Florida’s farms, forests, and natural areas, they are able to maintain traditions, enhance lives, and sustain our expanding communities. Their 2023 Annual Meeting takes place March 5th! You can also check out and sign up to receive their seasonal newsletter here.
Ocearch is a global non-profit organization conducting breakthrough research on our ocean’s sharks, helping scientists collect data on the health of our oceans and ecosystems. They’ve been docking in the heart of DTJax with their research ship, the Ocearch, and working with students from the University of Jacksonville in studies of scientific inquiry, research, experiential learning, innovation and sustainability. This partnership also allows the University to expand opportunities for students focusing on other majors, such as sustainability, environmental sciences, engineering, and more. Their mission is to “accelerate the ocean’s return to balance and abundance through fearless innovations in critical scientific research, education, outreach, and policy using unique collaborations of individuals and organizations in the U.S and abroad.”
Not only are they making strides in shark data and research, they created the OCEARCH STEM curriculum, in partnership with Landry’s, Inc.- a free curriculum that allows students to learn STEM skills while tracking real-time movements of their favorite sharks on the OCEARCH Tracker, their free app. This curriculum was created to promote environmental awareness and to prepare students grades K-8 for careers in STEM studies. They offer lessons in physics, math, biology, chemistry, oceanography, social studies and geography.
Interested in taking part? Learn more about their work and stay tuned for coming fundraising events here.
Resilient Jacksonville is developing a comprehensive city resilience strategy to guide policies, projects, and programs that will help Jacksonville prepare for, adapt to, and quickly rebound from shocks and stresses our city may face. This strategy is being developed in consultation with city departments, relevant independent authorities, city council, the business community, stakeholder groups, and Jacksonville residents. Join in on their community meetings and learn about smart and sustainable methods of natural and urban conservation for our city!
Downtown Dwellers Community Cleanup: April 22
Join our team and the Downtown Dwellers for a community cleanup on April 22nd on the Northbank! Learn more about the Downtown Dwellers here and help make our city a healthier place to live, work and play. Looking to lend a hand? The Quarterly Downtown Community Cleanup will take place Saturday, April 22nd, from 9-11 a.m. Come with a friend and join us to help keep the Northbank Riverwalk waste free and do some good in your community!
When: Saturday, April 22nd at 9 to 11 a.m.
Where: Riverfront Plaza | 2 W. Independent Drive
Trash bags, gloves and cleaning supplies will be provided.
Consider getting involved in a non-profit you love. Have another conservation organization in mind within the realm of Downtown Jacksonville? Let us know! Tag us at #DTJax and share how you give back to the place you love!