LYNN HAVEN Fla. (WMBB) – Park officials are trying to clean up the mess people are leaving behind with a new community outreach program to reduce the refuse.

A playground is a place for kids to explore and be carefree.

“It’s our second home,” said Lynn Haven parent of five Karla Leyva.

Some parents like Leyva, know parks to be a place where she has to watch her younger children extra carefully.

“Worrying about what is he grabbing, what is she grabbing,” said Leyva. “And constantly at other parks, I’ve had to say “don’t put that in your mouth or wait let me clean your hands you just touched that.”

Lynn Haven Parks and Grounds Director Ty Farris said people constantly leave cigarette butts, cups, leftover lunches. Especially at the brand-new Bayou Park and Preserve.

“And when you look at the $15 million that had been invested and I just saw trash, I saw birthday party banners hanging up and string beside trees where balloons had been hanging,” said Farris. “That’s when I thought ok now we need to do something.”

Farris has an idea to get the community more involved in making their parks cleaner.

“We want to form a group called maybe, “Friends of the Park,” and let’s see if we can get at least a quarter of Lynn Haven residents to understand the value that parks bring to the community and help make them stewards of the park or at least better stewards of the park,” said Farris.

“Friends of the Parks” will encourage residents to pick up trash and throw it away when they do come to the park.

“Help us when you can. It’s kind of like when they say if you see something say something,” said Farris. “Well, it’s kind of the same thing. It doesn’t take that much effort to reach down and pick it up.”

The volunteer program will be running within the next week. The city is working on a “Friends of the Parks” logo and different a list of clean-up projects.