City of Palatka Parks and Grounds crew Terrence “TJ” Beauford, Terry Null and Joseph Silver.
The City of Palatka Public Works Superintendent for Parks and Grounds Terry Null cares about the City parks that he and his team are responsible for taking care of.
“Parks are important because everybody can come and enjoy them,” he said. “It is part of what makes a city a city. You have to have a place you can take your children. You have to have a place where you can come and walk and enjoy nature.”
“But for people to enjoy the City parks, they have to a place you want be. And they have to be clean and safe,” he continued.
Keeping Palatka’s parks clean and safe is what Terry and team members Terrence “TJ” Beauford and Joseph Silver do. With help from other members of the Public Works staff, they check, clean and empty trash in the parks twice a day, seven days a week.
“The City Parks are a showcase. When you come over that bridge, we want you to see the Riverfront Park as a showstopper for the City—every time,” said Terry, “It is a matter of pride for all of us.”
Even on his days off, Terry is still watching over the parks. On a Saturday last month, Terry was in town on his day off and checked his phone.
“I was the middle of day on a Saturday and I was just relaxing and then I saw on Facebook that there was an issue arising with the trash cans on the Riverfront. I drove up to the boat ramp and started emptying cans and cleaning up trash because people were posting how bad it was during the shrimping season,” Terry said, “I couldn’t enjoy my day off knowing that the park was a mess.”
During the City’s annual shrimping season, trash cans in the Riverfront Park are now emptied three times a day.
As much effort as the City staff puts into keeping the parks clean, they still need the public’s help. Terry has started a program to educate the public, urge people to report issues and help keep the park nice.
“’ The PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT’ initiative is if you bring in, please pack it out. If the trash cans are full, take it home and recycle or throw it away in your own trash. Please, don’t throw garbage on the ground.” he said. “We are going to put signs around the parks asking people to help us keep them clean.”
Terry also wants the public to know that if they see an issue with a public space in Palatka call Public Works at (386) 329-0107.
“When there’s an issue 24/7, one of us will be there to fix the issue. If it’s an emergency, we’ll be there within 30 minutes,” he said, “We are Public Works; we work for the public.
It is a point of pride to keep the city clean. I do this because my family and my friends come to all of our parks, and we deserve to have them clean,” he continued.