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Press Release for Friday, April 2, 2010

Whole Foods Market Raises Record for UNF Wildlife Sanctuary

Joanna Norris, Assistant Director

Department of Media Relations and Events

(904) 620-2102


The Whole Foods Market in Mandarin raised a Jacksonville record of nearly $2,000 during its Community 5 Percent Day this week to benefit the Wildlife Sanctuary at the University of North Florida.


“Whole Foods Market supports local causes that are important to our shoppers and neighbors. With the support of the community, we are so pleased to have raised $1,979.19 on our 5 Percent Day for the University of North Florida Wildlife Sanctuary,” said Neda Yazdanpanah, Whole Foods Market, Florida Region. “Their efforts educating the public about sustainability and organic gardening are a perfect match with our core values and we look forward to continuing and strengthening our partnership with the Sanctuary.”


The Community 5 Percent Day was held at Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, March 31, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Mandarin store located at 10601 San Jose Boulevard. On designated days throughout the year, a total of five percent of the day’s net sales are donated to local non-profit organizations.


“The Wildlife Sanctuary is thrilled to be the beneficiary of Whole Foods Market Community 5 Percent Day,” said Becky Purser, director of UNF’s Department of Recreation. “The proceeds from this event will benefit the entire Wildlife Sanctuary and will help support the upkeep for its infrastructure, educational signage and programs as well as the new Verb Garden Project.”


The UNF Wildlife Sanctuary is comprised of the Robert W. Loftin Nature Trails, which are five trails that traverse more than 500 acres of natural habitat and are open to the public. It also includes the Sawmill Slough Preserve, which is the preservation of 365 acres of diverse habitat on UNF property. This designation encompasses part of the nature trails system and protects these lands in perpetuity for research and education.


The John M. Golden Environmental Educational Pavilion is located on the Wildlife Sanctuary and serves as the campus headquarters for environmental education programs on a wide variety of topics for preschool students to high school students. It’s also the home of UNF’s summer EcoCamp, a fun and educational day camp where kids from across the greater Jacksonville area come to enjoy the outdoors and to learn about the natural environment and local wildlife.


UNF students initiated an organic community VERB garden on campus that honors ecological systems and grows healthy food. The garden project, which only uses certified organic seeds, is taken care of by UNF students and is being progressed by students on campus. Students are seeking to expand their garden growing space, and Whole Foods Market plans on working with the UNF Wildlife Sanctuary in future garden expansion projects.


This mission of the UNF Wildlife Sanctuary is to support University objectives by offering experiences that cultivate awareness of the natural world. The nature trail system on campus opened to the public in 1973 and by 1977 was recognized as National Recreation Trails by the Department of Interior.


For more information about the UNF Wildlife Sanctuary and the programs and services it offers, call (904) 620-1810 or go online at