Are you a runner who appreciates the natural landscape that surrounds you here in the Keys? Do you cringe at the sight of trash on our shoreline when out for your morning jog or walk? In celebration of Earth Day, the friends group for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges FAVOR is partnering with Southernmost Runners club for a 5K Run/Walk race in Key West on Saturday, April 15th at 8:00am. Runners can enjoy a morning race that starts and ends at McCoy Indigenous Park (at Atlantic and White streets) and runs along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, knowing that their participation is in honor of the 21st annual Earth Day and in support of FAVOR and the beautiful environment we live in.
“For me, being outside in nature – the woods, the beach, the water – has always been crucial to my well-being,” says FAVOR volunteer Nancy Chatelain. “Caring for the environment and the wildlife comes naturally to me and the other kindred spirits I have met through FAVOR. It’s heartwarming to see what we can accomplish together.”
FAVOR— Friends And Volunteers Of Refuges— is the official friends group to the refuges, whose mission is to assist with recruiting volunteers, education and outreach, fundraising, and advocacy. Their many seasonal programs, activities, and events include: Camp Run-A-Muk, a three-day adult “summer” camp held in January for residents; Rockin’ Refuge Rangers programs for kids on Saturdays during Feb and March; family-friendly walks and programs in the summer that include evening star and pollinator programs, and marsh rabbit rambles; and a refuge photography club with monthly field trips. All of the programs are free as a consequence of FAVOR’s support.
“I chose FAVOR to receive the proceeds of the Earth Day Run/Walk because now, more than ever, it is crucial that “when we pray, we move our feet” – and FAVOR does just that!” says Marci L. Rose, Esq, a Key West attorney and founder of the Earth Day 5K more than twenty years ago. “FAVOR cleans up thousands of pounds of trash and plastics from our mangrove islands and near-shore waters.”
Rose is among many generous sponsors supporting the race who recognize the importance of the ecology and the natural environment of the Florida Keys and the tremendous work FAVOR does to help protect it, including the hands-on clean-up efforts of FAVOR’s volunteers who remove literally tons of trash from our beaches and wild lands every year.
Running the race is just one of many ways you can advocate for the group. So put your best foot forward and register online at runsignup.com or in person from 5:00pm-7:00pm Friday April 14th on site and 7-8am race day. For more information, to volunteer for the race, or learn more about FAVOR call Nancy 305 731 6362.