More than 50 volunteers came out to plant 600 little cypress seedlings on National Public Lands Day, September 26. The Friends partnered with the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation to restore cypress to an area just north of Lee Road, recently cleared of exotic vegetation. Before 10:00 in the morning the seedlings had all been planted, and volunteers began removing some of the remaining invasive exotics in the area - wild balsam apple, Caesar weed, Brazilian pepper and Old World climbing fern. This is just the beginning of a restoration effort along the eastern edge of the Refuge, envisioned to eventually cover 20 acres with as many as 8,000 trees.
More hiking trails are also in the planning stages. The area under the power lines just next to the new plantings may one day become a butterfly garden, and the start of a new trail that would first head north and then turn west into the cypress swamp, possibly connecting with the newly opened hiking trails in the “A” impoundments by way of a new boardwalk. How far the trail will go is only a question of how much money we can raise, so stay tuned for details on how you can help!
In fact, we need your help in many ways - nothing we do would be possible without your support. We need help in our Nature Store, we need help weeding the Butterfly Garden and the new plantings, and we need help raising money - for trails, for buses to bring school groups on field trips, for Everglades Day and more. If you or someone you know would be interested, please let us know!