It's been a while since the last volunteer update. Much effort went into getting Camp Bayou ready for the Open House which went very well. Still no huge throngs of people but those that attended were interested and engaged in the variety of activities offered. We even made some money at the fundraising BBQ even though I did not get my usual donation from Publix (not their fault- I procrastinated too long). For news article see http://southshore2.tbo.com/content/2007/dec/08/ss-getting-back-to-nature/?news
One thing that never got done is to get the pole barn in shape (I've been trying to get to this since the summer but need a few strong helpers and at least one mechanically inclined volunteer). There are donated cabinets that need to be positioned, lots of gardening equipment that needs to be assessed as working, needs repair or send to trash. I moved what I could on my own but not nearly enough.
The next edition of the Camp Bayou Buzz will be distributed on or around Dec 21 (winter solstice). If anyone has any articles, essays, photos, musings, or other nature-related submissions, send them to me by Dec 20.
The recent prescribed burn at Camp Bayou has exposed a number of gopher tortoise burrows. If you are interested in helping monitor them, I would like to get a few interested folks with handheld GPS units to walk the north end of the preserve, through the recently charred palmettos, to GPS each burrow and document if active or not. I am shooting for Saturday, January 19 from 10:30-ish to 1pm (?). If you would like to help, let me know by Jan 12.
I've had a request to do another butterfly monitoring training (see Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network http://www.flbutterflies.net/locations.jsp?County=Hillsborough ), It is a 6 hr class conducted by a researcher from UF, Dr. Akers Pence, but you must commit to doing a monthly monitoring at either Camp Bayou or Lowry Park. We haven't picked a date yet although it may be on a Friday in January. Let me know if you are interested.
We are advertising a winter vacation day camp where kids will be archaeologists in the morning and naturalists in the afternoon. It will run from 9am- 4pm on Thursday & Friday, Jan 3 & 4, 2008. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this group or with school trips next year, let me know. We have a small group of volunteers that are regulars with the school programs but scheduling conflicts do come up and things run more smoothly with extra volunteers.
I am also looking for volunteers to help with the expanded version of the Family Naturalist program, Saturdays 9:30-10:30am from March- June, part of a community education grant from SWFWMD. We've done a pilot program for a year and half that will be the template. Each week is a different environmental theme and activity.
Thanks for all you do,
And have a great Holiday!