by Shannon Blankenship
You can’t make good beer without good water. It is no wonder that Jacksonville breweries and restaurants are always some of the best supporters of the St. Johns Riverkeeper in its efforts to restore and protect the St. Johns. A host of great events and fundraisers that benefit protection of the river have been organized by small businesses and families in Jacksonville. These events in the watershed that supports the St. Johns highlight the willingness of our community to clean up this resource and get people out into the river. While the best way to protect the St. Johns is to get people on the river kayaking, boating and swimming, people helping from the shore are doing a good job too.
Throughout the year, Black Creek Outfitters has donated one percent of all kayak sales to the St. Johns Riverkeeper. In April, Panache Salon in Julington Creek and St. Augustine held a haircut-a-thon and donated all proceeds from an entire Saturday to protecting the river. Stylists helped to explain how the St. Johns Riverkeeper organization operates to their captive audience. Engine 15 brewed a specialty Amber Waves double wheat just for the St. Johns Riverkeeper. Eco Latino newspaper held an Eco Fashion show with over 90 runway models at the April Art Walk to support the St. Johns and highlight conservation.
We can all work to save the St. Johns by sharing our passion and knowledge about the it with friends. From Memorial Day through Independence Day, SweetWater Brewing Company from Atlanta is working through participating Jacksonville restaurants to host a Save the St. Johns campaign that allows people to purchase paper fish at a $1, $5, and $10 level to support the St. Johns Riverkeeper. To kick off the campaign, St. Johns Riverkeeper is hosting a Riverside pub crawl on June 3 from 3-8 pm starting at O’Brothers and moving on to six other SweetWater restaurants and bars.
Can we Save the St. Johns with a pub crawl? It’s a fun way to try.
June 3, 3-8 pm
Save the St. Johns SweetWater Pub Crawl
Start at O’Brothers Restaurant and move through Grassroots Market, Birdies, Kickbacks, European Street, Rogue, and the Garage. Great Prizes. www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/events
June 9, 10 am-12 pm
Black Creek Boat Cruise
Learn about the beautiful Black Creek and bring your camera to capture the wildlife!
June 9, 11:30 am
12.1 Mile Swim Up the St. Johns River
Come join us at the Riverside Arts Market where we will meet Jim Alabiso as he completes a 12.1 mile swim up the St. Johns to show people that you can swim in it. The swim starts at the Walter Jones Historic Park in Mandarin and finishes at RAM.
May 28-July 4
Save the St. Johns
SweetWater Brewing Company is working with restaurants throughout the St. Johns watershed to help raise funds for the St. Johns Riverkeeper through a paper fish campaign. Learn more about the campaign and how SweetWater started it all by understanding that good beer comes from clean water. www.savethestjohnsriver.com