The effort will include the distribution of trash bags to patrons at Miami-Dade County beaches and major park picnic areas throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Friday, May 27, through Monday, May 30, and asking them not to leave trash behind.
(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- Memorial Day weekend rings in the official start of summer, family vacations and the pile up of tons of trash in picnic areas throughout Miami-Dade County due to littering. The Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department (MDPR) and the Community Image Advisory Board (CIAB) of Miami-Dade County have launched the "Show Some Love to Your Parks & Beaches" campaign, reminding residents and visitors about the importance of keeping local beaches and parks litter-free.
Dialoguing with park patrons about the seriousness of problems caused by littering and asking for their help will be supplemented by commercials promoting the cause on cable television, YouTube, Facebook, the Miami-Dade Parks website, and e-blasts, along with signs posted at toll booths and main entrances of parks and beaches.
"Our goal is to help park and beach visitors to realize that the solution to keeping our beaches and parks free from debris is in their hands," said MDPR Director Jack Kardys. "If they properly dispose of trash in designated waste receptacles, then they are not only abiding by Miami-Dade County laws and ordinances, but they are doing their part to protect the lifestyle that all residents and visitors know and love."
Each year, the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department spends more than $1.5 million in dumping fees removing garbage from parks and beaches, and $3 million in staff time to simply pick up litter from parks and beaches throughout Miami-Dade County, including 16 miles of beach on Miami Beach, Crandon Park Beach and Haulover Beach. During the holidays, the amount of littered trash is particularly high, as picnickers flock to beaches and parks for reunions and recreation. The "Show Some Love to Your Parks & Beaches" campaign aims to curtail the inappropriate disposal of trash that not only imposes a great economic strain on County residents, but destroys the beauty of the County's natural ecosystems, and creates potential health and environmental hazards.
"No one wants their holiday celebration ruined because their loved one stepped on a broken bottle or can that was left behind," added Kardys. "Wildlife safety in our parks is also a concern when it comes to litter, because ingesting trash mistaken for food can create life threatening situations for animals."
The campaign's "Show Some Love" creative concept is the brainchild of the Colombian born graphic artist and creative director, Camilo Rojas, a 2008 graduate of the New World School of the Arts College, who entered the concept into a City of Miami Beach contest as a graphic designer in 2010. MDPR and the CIAB have partnered with Miami Beach to help spread the word about the growing problem of increased litter in the region and the need for community involvement and action.
"Outside of my normal job or daily activities, lies my commitment to social change and that's where this concept was born," said Camilo Rojas. "Using my design and creative talents, I want to create awareness and help solve problems that affect our society and the world. I want to do it in a way that entertains and embraces people through positive change. I actually think I could change the world by helping humanity move towards a sustainable existence, starting in my own home and community," he added.
Rojas, who has lived and produced work in South America and Paris, recently moved to Miami Beach where he plans to open his own graphic arts studio. He also lends his expertise to corporate identity and branding projects. His piece "Flavor" is on display as part of the Typography in Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Museum for Printing Arts in Leipzig, Germany. His works were recently featured in the books 3d Typography and Love Earth - Viction:Ary.
"Camilo is a budding young artist with serious talent, whose passion for art and for his community is impressive," said Miami-Dade County Community Image Manager Christina Casado. "Keeping our beaches, parks, streets, and neighborhoods clean is one simple thing each of us can do to make sure Miami is the kind of place where people want to live, visit and come back to."
The CIAB is encouraging municipalities to join the effort, so that a seamless message is sent throughout all communities. The "Show Some Love to Your Parks & Beaches" campaign is scheduled to run throughout the summer with cable television ads airing during the weeks leading into and out of Memorial Day, as well as the Fourth of July holiday. The online promotional effort will run continuously throughout the summer months, along with on-going dialogue with patrons and visible park signage carrying the campaign's branding and messaging.
About the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the National Gold Medal Award, 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award winner for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.