PRESS RELEASE: JANUARY 19, 2024
Day of giving, community service at SJR State
Viktor the Viking joins SJR State President Joe Pickens and First Lady Carol Pickens during the St. Johns County Trash Bash.
St. Johns River State College celebrated its largest Vikings Day of Service to date in partnership with the St. Johns County Trash Bash and 300 volunteers. The day also included the addition of three Live Oak trees on each campus in recognition of Arbor Day.
SJR State faculty and students from the Orange Park, Palatka and St. Augustine campuses joined forces with 15 organizations to clean up St. Johns County beaches in conjunction with the College’s community service day. It was the first time the College teamed up with the county’s solid waste division.
Additional College service projects ranged from highway cleanups to assisting community shelters. Organizations served during the event included: Ayla’s Acres, The ARC of Putnam, Clay Education Foundation, Council on Aging, Orange Park High School, The Heart of Putnam, Keep Putnam Beautiful, Keep Clay Beautiful, Putnam Animal Control, Waterworks Environmental Education Center and more.
SJR State President Joe Pickens said the College looks forward to its service day held each spring and fall. “I’m proud of our college community and their eagerness to lend a helping hand to improve our community and for the lives we touch outside of the classroom,” Pickens said. “The camaraderie the day brings draws us closer as a college family.”
In keeping with its Tree Campus Higher Education status, SJR State expanded its Arbor Day celebration this year to include planting trees at all three campus locations.
A tradition that began on the Palatka Campus has continued with students and faculty planting trees on the Orange Park and St. Augustine campuses. The Live Oak trees were presented to the College by the campus Student Government Associations. The Live Oak tree planted at the Palatka Campus was gifted in partnership by the City of Palatka.
In 2019, SJR State Senior Vice President Melanie Brown spearheaded the event to engage employees and students as volunteers in meaningful service opportunities that address the community’s needs. “This is our sixth year of sustaining service events and growing SJR State’s community involvement,” Brown said. “The reason St. Johns River State College is so special is because of the dedication of our faculty and staff to our students and our communities.”
Additional photos from the Vikings Day of Service
SJR State baseball players clean up the beach as part of the St. Johns County Trash Bash.