Community briefs 11/16/17

Clay Today
Posted 11/15/17

Bike donations needed

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – It’s time to do some fall cleaning for J.P. Hall Children’s Charities.

The 36th Annual Christmas Party for Clay County’s children is looking …

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Community briefs 11/16/17


Bike donations needed

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – It’s time to do some fall cleaning for J.P. Hall Children’s Charities.

The 36th Annual Christmas Party for Clay County’s children is looking for a few good bike donations in preparation for its Dec. 16 event. The party will be held at the Clay County Fairgrounds, 2497 State Rd. 16 West in Green Cove Springs from 8 a.m. until noon.

Bike donations, along with new toys, will be accepted at every Clay County Fire Station between now and the day before the party. Firefighters refurbish the bikes to new condition and they are given to children who may not otherwise have a Christmas of their own.

The Christmas Party is open to any Clay County resident and Santa is on hand to make their wishes come true.

The J.P Hall Children’s Charities Annual Dinner and Auction – which raises funds to provide college scholarships to Clay students – will be Nov. 17 at the Thrasher Horne Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dress is cocktail attire and there is a dinner, silent and live auction.

For more information, check out the charity’s website at

Celebrate a ‘Hometown Holiday’

ORANGE PARK – The Town of Orange Park and The Historical Society of Orange Park are gearing up to celebrate the holiday season.

The fun begins on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. when town officials host “Light the Park” at Town Hall Park. The season kicks off with the traditional reading of “The Night Before Christmas.”

From there, town residents are invited to “Hometown Holiday in the Park” at Clarke Park on Kingsley Avenue.

This event features a shopping village, hay rides through a decorated trail of lights, live entertainment, historic Clarke House tours, photos with Santa and more. It may even snow. Admission and many activities are free. This event will be held on Dec. 8-9 from 6-9 p.m.

Vendor applications are now available and town officials are seeking sponsorships for “snow Stations” Five snow stations are available throughout the park for $500 each. For additional information, contact the Emily Dockery at (904) 278-3043 or

Clay County school selected for urban agriculture project grant

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Aetna Foundation’s Cultivating Healthy Communities program awarded a local youth development program with a $60,000 grant.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Clay County 4-H Youth Development Program will use part of the funds to implement a 4-H Urban Agriscience Project in Clay County.

The first school to benefit from the grant is R.C. Bannerman Learning Center, which will expand its school garden by adding three types of hydroponic systems. This expansion will introduce students to new urban agriculture techniques and give them a deeper understanding of the connection between technology, agriculture and sustainable living.

On Nov. 28, Clay County Extension and the school will host a “School to Table” event to showcase the program.

“We are grateful for our existing partnership with the UF/IFAS Clay County Extension and are excited to be included in this grant from the Aetna Foundation. Agriculture is the foundation of Clay County and it will continue to be an important part of our community as we grow and develop. This expansion will offer more opportunities for students to learn about the future of agriculture while incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math principles in a hands-on environment,” said Addison Davis, superintendent of the Clay County School District.

“We are pleased to have been selected for this grant and excited about the synergistic partnerships it will create in our community. The resources provided by the Aetna Foundation will allow us to educate young leaders and future decision makers, through a learn-by-doing approach, about the critical role agricultural innovation can play in addressing the world's most pressing problems,” said Brad Burbaugh, Extension director.

“The Aetna Foundation is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities,” said Garth Graham, Aetna Foundation president. “By identifying community-specific challenges, and unique ways to combat them, this year’s grantees are a shining example of organizations who strive to make a measurable and positive local health impact. We are honored to contribute towards the great work they are doing in pursuit of health equity.”

Thanksgiving Day garbage collection

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County Department of Environmental Services has released its 2017 Thanksgiving schedule.

Residents who have regular pickup on Thursdays will receive pickup service the next day, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Residents whose regular pickup is on Friday will receive pickup service on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The Rosemary Hill Solid Waste Management Facility as well as the Environmental Convenience Centers will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

Celebrate Farm-City Week

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Farm-City Week is being celebrated this year from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22. It is a week to express appreciation for the beneficial partnerships between rural and urban communities.

Farmers and ranchers rely on essential partnerships with urban communities to supply, sell and deliver finished products across the country and around the world. Consumer purchases, in turn, make sustainable farming possible.

Foods, fibers and renewable fuels are available to us because of the daily relationships among farmers and ranchers, processors, brokers, truckers, shippers, advertisers, wholesalers and retailers. The collective efforts by these members of our society provide food for everyone.

In addition, farms and ranches conserve freshwater resources, wildlife habitat and greenspace.

Clay County Farm Bureau will sponsor a luncheon to recognize the contributions of Farm-City relationships to Florida’s quality of life.

Here in Clay County, agricultural businesses include: Cattle, Timber, Corn and Forage to name a few.

For more information about Farm-City Week and agricultural education opportunities in our local community, please contact Terri Davis at the Clay County Farm Bureau.

Maxwell joins Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices

FLEMING ISLAND – Pamela Maxwell joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty in its Fleming Island/Orange Park office.

Maxwell joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices with 18 years of experience in mortgages and is a veteran of the United States Navy. While serving in the military she was a radioman in telecommunications and served many locations overseas.

Upon honorable discharge from the military, Maxwell began her civilian career in the mortgage lending industry as a processor, underwriter and as a mortgage loan officer assistant, which enabled her to obtain her Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry License. When Pamela’s daughters “left the nest,” she decided to take on a new challenge and became a Realtor – something she had always wanted to do but couldn’t before.

“There’s nothing more gratifying than helping people obtain the ‘American Dream,’” Maxwell said. “Being a Realtor helps me to still serve my community, I’m here to assist my clients in the sale of their home or their purchase of real estate.”

Learn about clinical research

JACKSONVILLE – Clay County residents involved in or interested in learning about clinical research are invited to attend AWARE for All, a one-day seminar scheduled for Dec. 5 in Jacksonville.

Clinical Research Education Day is a free educational event that serves as a forum for open dialogue between patients, members of the public, and health and research professionals. AWARE for All will provide information about the clinical research process and activity here in Jacksonville, as well as food, prizes, and free health screenings. The event is hosted by the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, an independent nonprofit organization based in Boston that educates the public about clinical research.

The seminar will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Schultz Center at 4019 Boulevard Center Dr. in Jacksonville. There will be blood pressure, Body Mass Index, glucose and vision screenings. Guests can register for the event online at

“Festival of Trees” sponsors needed

MIDDLEBURG – Canterfield of Clay County, in partnership with Life Care Centers of America’s two area locations in Orange Park and Wells Crossing, is seeking corporate tree sponsors to support a new holiday event called “Festival of Trees.”

All proceeds from “Festival of Trees” will benefit Community PēdsCare hospice services.

Cost for a corporate tree sponsorship is $100. Tree sponsors are requested to donate one decorated tabletop tree that is a maximum of 3-feet high to be displayed that evening for the silent auction. Corporate tree sponsors will receive pre-event and on-site acknowledgement the evening of the event.

Festival of Trees will take place Dec. 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Canterfield of Clay County, located at 1611 Winners Circle off Old Jennings Road. The public is invited and admission and parking are free. Guests will make merry as they enjoy holiday libations and fare, listen to seasonal music and carolers, participate in the outdoor Christmas tree lighting, visit with Santa, and bid on numerous uniquely decorated tabletop holiday trees via the silent auction.

Current corporate tree sponsors include New Way Hearing, Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home and Orange Park Florist.

For more information, contact Brenda Lee at (904) 203-6100, extension 405.

Branan Field Road detour November 12-18

MIDDLEBURG– State Road 23, which is the First Coast Expressway, between 103rd Street and New World Avenue in Jacksonville will close from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly in both directions through Nov. 18 as crews continue construction on the project.

Motorists traveling on State Road 23 during these hours will be detoured to 103rd Street and New World Avenue, allowing for continuous north-south travel in the area. State Road 23 will reopen daily to traffic from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

When completed in Spring 2018, the northern portion of the Expressway will become part of a fifteen-mile-long SunPass administered toll road that connects I-10/U.S. 90 in Duval County to Blanding Boulevard, which is State Road 21, in Duval County. Construction began in September 2013 on this first phase of the First Coast Expressway which spans six miles from north of Argyle Forest Boulevard to just south of I-10. FDOT hired Dragados USA to complete this segment at an estimated cost of $77 million.

Once opened, Expressway commuters will pass through all-electronic overhead toll plazas – also known as gantries – without stopping. Electronic systems will either detect the vehicle’s SunPass transponder device or scan the vehicle’s license plate for a toll-by-plate invoice in the mail (no stopping and no cash required on site). The FCE from U.S. 90/I-10 to New World Avenue will not be tolled.

Up-to-date lane closure information is available at The Florida Department of Transportation urges motorists to always follow the speed limit and stay within the limits of orange cones and barrels while traveling through construction zones.


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