2020 SBA Annual Meeting: Beach & Parks Report – Charlene Adair, Beach & Parks Chair

I am Charlene Adair, and I’ve been your Beach & Parks Chair since 2015. This led to serving on the Keep Fort Pierce Beautiful Advisory Board and eventually the Parks Advisory Committee. I coordinate over 50 volunteers to keep 9 parks and about 4 miles of beach clean and maintained – a lofty goal for sure! Our volunteers showed they are up to the challenge by working 2,574 hours in 2019 – a new record! Thank you, to all volunteers who work so hard to keep our beaches and parks beautiful. You have proven our theory that “the cleaner the parks and beaches are, the cleaner citizens will keep them”.

We can always use more help, especially during the off-season months when many of our volunteers are unavailable. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please see me after the meeting or call or email me – my contact information is on the website and my cards are on the table. This is a great job for those of you who enjoy the outdoors, and every hour is appreciated.

I would like to thank our Fort Pierce Public Works Department for your tremendous support. You have responded to numerous suggestions for improvement as well as reports of needed maintenance – and, they even thank us for this! They cheerfully provide 100% of our support with shirts, picker uppers, gloves, bags, and any other supplies we request. I would like to thank Mike Reals, Public Works Director, and Paul Bertram, Parks & Grounds Manager and our liaison, and others for the work that you do.

Our BlueTube program, spearheaded by the City and the Keep Fort Pierce Beautiful Advisory Board, has expanded our volunteer cleanup efforts to include all citizens, one bag at a time. These BlueTubes hold clean used bags for anyone to grab when going to the beach in order to pick up trash. You can then toss the bag in any trash can and bring more bags the next time you visit the beach. The City has just procured a new grant to provide South Beach two additional badly needed BlueTubes. Also watch for new BlueTubes along the Indian River and Moore’s Creek.

The Keep Fort Pierce Beautiful Advisory Board wants to thank SBA for sponsoring the wrapping of three more electric boxes in addition to the four sponsored last year. FPUA has also wrapped one large box. Seapointe Towers and Harbour Isle have or are in the process of wrapping boxes on their properties. We are looking for sponsors of seven additional power boxes to be wrapped in 2020, and, in addition, hope that more communities will wrap boxes on or adjacent to their properties. If any of you are interested, please contact me.

Please also plan to attend the Great American Cleanup sponsored by the Keep Fort Pierce Beautiful Advisory Board on March 7th. Projects include painting at Jetty Park and the Arbor Day Celebration and planting at Jaycee Park and along Melaleuca Drive. You will find details on the City website.

The Parks Advisory Committee has had a very busy year with many projects including addressing challenges at Jaycee Park due to competing activities and safety issues. This was mentioned in last year’s report. The Commission asked the PAC to make recommendations in December of 2018 and accepted these recommendations in April of 2019. The PAC spent hundreds of hours on this project driven by our heartfelt concern for the safety of our citizens (particularly our little ones) so that all competing activities could continue in an enjoyable and safe environment. New buoys around the swim area and additional signage have been installed to protect the non-motorized launch area, the swim area, the bathing beach, and the Treasure Coast Youth Sailing activities. An idle speed/no wake zone Ordinance has been approved and is in the process of being implemented. This simply asks motorized watercraft to go slowly within 500′ of the boat launch area in order to protect kayakers, paddle boarders, sailors, and boats launching. Support for this Ordinance is widespread and includes at least two watersports vendors – a jet ski rental company and a distributor of electric surf boards. Also, a kayak rental company licensed to operate in Jaycee Park stopped using Jaycee Park a couple of years ago due to extreme safety issues. However, there is opposition to this law, and I ask you to support the safety and enjoyment of many by asking a few to slow down closer to shore.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to serve our community.