Sunny days are here again, and most of us are eager to get outside and get a taste of spring. With numerous parks and outdoor activities in Jacksonville, one place you might not know about is the Ron Newport Recycling Education Park.

If you’re looking for something different to do with your family this spring, this is a perfect place to spend the day. This education park is the only one of its kind in the country and provides a truly unique recycling education experience.

What makes this park different is the special emphasis on art culture and the sculptures created from the recycled materials. Named after Jacksonville native Ron Newport, you will see what happens to your recycled items after collection, and learn how artists create beautiful sculptures out of recycled parts.

The park features 11 education stations, along with whimsical sculptures that are appealing to the whole family. All of the pieces have been "upcycled" by the artists, who take everyday items and turn them into unique works of art.

This is a great way to learn how, and especially why, recycling is so important. Best of all, the park reinforces just how easy it is for your children to make a difference in their community.

After learning about the educational features, check out the rest of the park’s features that include a pavilion, picnic tables, barbeque grill and games. Games available are hopscotch, life-size tic-tac-toe, volleyball and a nine-hole Frisbee golf course.

After a fun-filled day, stick around town before you go home and experience some of the local Jacksonville dining options. From BBQ to Mexican restaurants, there are plenty of choices to satisfy the whole family.

The recycling park is also available for end-of-the-school-year field trips. The environmental education center is designed to be a destination for children in grades K-5. The major educational emphasis is on materials that can be recycled at home or school.

The total field trip consists of a tour of the drive-thru recycling plant, a visit to the compost demonstration site, the mulch area and a tour of the education stations.

For more information, visit www.recyclingeducationpark.org.

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