Children Remind Park Visitors that Every Day is Earth Day When it Comes to Litter


Participants in the Foundations Academy After-School Program combined their efforts to create an Earth Day-themed project to promote litter-reduction at Albert “Ray” Massey (Westside) Park and Recreation Center. The Foundations program is run by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) for children in first through eighth grade and focuses on the Character Counts® curriculum, which teaches the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

Staff at the center helped children collect the wrappers and other trash from their daily snack time in the week leading up to Earth Day. The usually discarded materials became part of the letters of a large banner the children created featuring the message “Save the Earth, Pick It Up!” The completed banner is on display on the park’s fence facing Northwest Eighth Avenue as a reminder to passersby of the importance of picking up waste and proper recycling. This banner will remain on display throughout the week, but the impact on the Foundation Academy children and our community will be long lasting.

Photographs of the sign’s creation are available at

If you would like to learn more about the after-school program, please contact Mary Harker, program coordinator, at 352-393-8438 or

For interviews and other program information, please contact John Weber, interim recreation manager, at 352-393-8526 or