Park Cleanup Volunteer Opportunities
Updated: Jun 17
As we are all looking for ways to connect with each other, engage in the community, and do what we can to help out, we often don’t know where to start or what to do, though we have a need to contribute. At Hopeloft, we are always creating new solutions and opportunities for community members to volunteer and empower others, and this month we are launching a campaign to clean our local parks.
Our park cleanup volunteer initiative, starting this June, will offer two opportunities per month to get up, get out, and help clean up our local parks. A clean community is one step closer to a healthy, thriving community, and working together is critical in inspiring impactful change. Come out with your family, or whoever you have been quarantining with, and spend quality time together, or come alone for some self-reflection and self-care time.
The first park cleanup event will take place on June 10th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Menantico Ponds, located at 8747 Ferry Road, Millville, NJ 08332. Our next cleanup will be on June 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Parvin State Park, located at 701 Almond Road, Pittsgrove Township, NJ 08318. In July, our two scheduled cleanups will be at Bridgeton City Park & Cohansey River Waterfront at 25 Mayor Aitken Drive, Bridgeton, NJ 08302 on July 8th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Mary Elmer Lake in Bridgeton on July 22nd from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
During each event, you may come and go as you please at whatever time works best for you, and you are encouraged to only participate in the cleanup with your family, by yourself, or whoever you have been quarantining with in order to maintain social distancing protocols, protect the safety of yourself and others, and continue to slow the spread of the virus.
“If another day during the week is better for you, then you are welcome to choose a different day,” says Hillary Nichols, creator of the park cleanup event and Founder of Operation South Jersey, an initiative operating out of Hopeloft that hosts service projects to support foster youth and families in crisis while fostering community building. “The important thing is that people go out, pick up litter, and share what they’ve done, that way we can see the impact we’ve all made together in our community.”
Before coming out, here are a few things to remember:
· Practice social distancing and wear a face mask. Safety is our number one priority!
· We suggest wearing gloves and be on the lookout for sharp objects
· Make sure to stay hydrated and wear comfortable clothes and shoes
· Bring only the amount of trash bags that you and/or your family/group can carry out of the location. Bags will get heavy, so please consider where on the trail you will start collecting litter
We are also asking you to document your volunteering! Take before and after pictures of the areas you clean, take pictures of the bag(s) of trash you collect, and take selfies or group shots. Share your pictures on social media and tag us @Hopeloft with the hashtags #menanticocleanup (for June 10 at Menantico Ponds) and #hopeloftvolunteer; or you can send your pictures to Hillary@Hopeloft.com with the name of the individual(s) who volunteered. This helps us share the impact we are making collectively!
Events like our park cleanups instill the importance of both community-led change and protecting our environment. We have to work together, especially during times like these, to affect change and grow as a community. If you are interested in participating in this new volunteer opportunity, learn more on our website or contact Hillary@Hopeloft.com for more information. We hope to see you there!