River Clean-Up from New Heritage Peace River Landing
The first volunteers to arrive for the “Friends for Public Lakes Access” Clean-up of the Peace River had a special close-up encounter with the wildlife. Mike Britt, City of Winter Haven Natural Resources Director, who provided the fleet of 15 kayaks, captured deer grazing over the heads of (left to right) Holly Peterson, Glenda Mink, Andy Quinn, Charles Cook and Joey Maier.
The “Friends for Public Lakes Access” Clean-up was a Keep Polk County Clean and Beautiful event organized by the Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA) to clear and clean-up the river from the new public landing off Homeland-Garfield Road in Bartow to be opened for use later this month.
Three FPTA members had previously spent considerable time and effort on the river, in part to help prepare for the grand opening of the new launch site – but more importantly, that’s what they do. FPTA serves as the steward for all of Florida’s water trails, including the 1,515 mile Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Homeland resident, Tom McLaulin is current FPTA president; and Mike Britt and Charles Cook are FPTA Upper Peace River Trail Keepers.
The public is invited to attend the official grand opening and dedication of the Heritage Peace River Landing April 30 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. The Polk County Board of County Commissioners will be joined by multiple public and private partners who worked together to make the new access point to the historical Peace River a reality for Polk County citizens and visitors. Along with the Board and FPTA, the event is co-hosted by A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., Clear Springs, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Dick Pope / Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Associations. Exhibits and light refreshments are planned following ribbon-cutting ceremonies, plus kayak and canoe “mini river excursion” photo ops until 11:30 a.m.
Friends for Public Lakes Access is a new sub-committee of the Friends of the Parks Foundation, dedicated to raising funds and awareness for improved and greater public access to our lakes within Polk County. When you make a tax-deductible gift to Friends of the Parks, you are helping to provide public access to our lakes, as well as trails, environmental lands and neighborhood parks that bring our communities together. Make a donation today at any Magnify CU location! For more information, visit www.friendsoftheparks.net.