Inmates clean Polk County trail - FOX 13 News

Inmates clean Polk County trail

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It may not be Camelot, but a lake just appeared in Winter Haven—well, kind of. You couldn't see the water from the street before because the underbrush was so heavy. Now you can, thanks to an all volunteer clean-up project.

The project is headed up by the new chair of Keep Winter Haven Clean and Beautiful, Janis Davis.

Davis says in the last month, volunteers have collected 17 tons of brush and junk from around Lake Gem. The project, which got off to a quick start, seems to be picking up even speed. 

"I wanna tell someone else, and someone else," Davis told FOX 13 on Tuesday.

Since Davis has no budget, she decided to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office and ask for inmate labor. Hundreds of so-called "weekend warriors" have  ripped out invasive plants and trimmed trees. They have also picked up all kinds of junk: phone books, bags of concrete, anything you can imagine.

Davis is also hitting up area businesses. Billy Bob Morris agreed to send over several employees to cut limbs into sections that they can be more easily removed. The City of Winter Haven is going to haul them away for free and waive the dumping fees.

"That's what it is all about," said Davis. "The community members getting involved and joining us."

The property is owned by Polk State College which sits right next door. College officials are talking about it becoming an area where students can go to read, relax and have lunch. It could even become an outdoor classroom somewhere down the line.

If you have an interest in this or other green projects, Davis can be reached at (863) 427-5184.

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