Tag Archives: volunteers

Volunteers are the Heart of PBC Parks!

Volunteers are the heart of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department (PBC Parks). They supplement our existing workforce, help us reach our goals, engage with the community and raise awareness about our facilities, programs and services. In 2022, PBC Parks’ volunteers contributed over 130,000 hours at nature centers, recreation centers, golf courses, and beach and park cleanups and hosted more than 200 park and beach cleanups.

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Great American Cleanup 2022

PBC Parks’ Adopt-A-Park Partners celebrated the Great American Cleanup on April 23rd and April 30th,  2022. The Great American Cleanup is an annual program of Keep America Beautiful that unites and beautifies community’s across the nation by influencing individuals to take greater responsibility for their local environment by participating in community service projects. Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep American Beautiful, coordinates the Great American Cleanup project in Palm Beach County. With help from Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, our Adopt-A-Park Partners hosted 13 cleanups from Jupiter down south to Boca Raton to participate in the nation-wide event.

The Great American Cleanup brought 394 volunteers who donated 1,039 hours of service and removed over 866 pounds of litter and debris from our parks and beaches! Litter and debris most commonly reported was cigarette butts and various forms of plastic pieces. The donations of our dedicated volunteers’ time and energy used to improve our community is why volunteers continue to be the heart of PBC Parks.

Photographers get Unique Opportunity to Photograph Birds of Prey

  • Owl
  • Hawk
  • Owl
  • Hawk
  • Kestrel
  • crowd

Raptor Day for Photographers was held at Okeeheelee Nature Center (ONC) on January 18, 2020. Sponsored by Friends of Okeeheelee Nature Center, this annual event provided 50 photographers with an opportunity to take close-up portraits of birds of prey. This year, ONC partnered with the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center (TCWC) to ensure a diversity of species for the participants to photograph. The birds displayed included two species of hawk, three species of owl, a kestrel, and a crested caracara. The birds are placed on outdoor perches so the photographers can capture images of the animals in natural light and in front of wooded backgrounds.

All of the raptors live at educational facilities under human care because they have an injury that prevents them from returning to the wild. Although many of the birds have visible imperfections, the talented photographers were able to bring out their best features and highlight their natural beauty.

ONC staff and volunteers were present throughout the event to provide information about the birds and answer questions. Participants were also given a brochure that included facts about the raptors and explained a little about each bird’s history.

Feedback from the participants was tremendously positive. Irwin Goldzweig wrote to share some of his beautiful photos and say, “Thanks to you, Heather, and your staff and volunteers. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Raptor Day. It was professionally organized and implemented which made it totally enjoyable for us as visitors. The staff and volunteers were wonderful, informative, and very helpful. We look forward to the next one.”

Friends of Okeeheelee Nature Center sold out the event within two weeks, raising over $1,200. All proceeds benefit the programs, exhibits and animals at Okeeheelee Nature Center.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, PBC Parks teamed up with the County’s Environmental Resources Department (ERM), along with other community organizations, to host a weekend beach cleanup event on the morning of Saturday, September 7. The cleanups were prompted by the impacts of Hurricane Dorian, which caused large volumes of plastic, trash and debris to wash ashore.

Groups of at least a dozen hard-working volunteers at each site — DuBois Park, Ocean Reef Park, Ocean Inlet Park, Ocean Cay Park and R.G. Kreusler Beach Park — spent part of their Saturday morning removing all sorts of trash from along the shore and around the park. After two hours of work, they volunteers from all the sites managed to collect hundreds of pounds of trash.

Volunteers will have another opportunity to help keep our beaches clean during the International Coastal Cleanup event on Saturday, September 21 at select beach parks. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help keep Palm Beach County’s shorelines clean and green, for the health and enjoyment of beach visitors and the animals who call them home!