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Panel delays plans for Captiva Drive planting

By Staff | Aug 11, 2010

Plans for planting native species at 15 sites along Captiva Drive will be postponed until next summer due to the limited amount of time remaining to plant during rainy season.

In June, the Panel learned they would qualify for a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to plant native trees and plants along Captiva Drive.

The grant, is contracted with the state Division of Forestry and totals $18,200.

After the June Panel meeting, Panel Administrator Ken Gooderham met with Jenny Evans, manager of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Nursery, Joe Sulak, who coordinates ROW plantings for the Lee Department of Transportation and Mike Weston, the local forester with the state Division of Forestry, to determine suitable planting sites on Captiva Drive. The group came up with 15 possible planting sites.

The original plan was to get the planting process started while it was still rainy season, but at their meeting on Tuesday, the Panel decided to hold off for another year because of the time it would take to notify all of the property owners.

“We’ll make a list so that we can contact the owners and tell them what we’re planning to do in the right of way and the trees that are being selected,” Gooderham said, noting that property owners would probably be contacted this fall or winter.

“There’s a lot of work to do and because we’re not going to survey these properties, we want to make sure we’re planting in the right of way and not on people’s properties. We want to talk to them, and if they object, we want to move on. It takes time,” said Panel member Mike Mullins.

“The Divison of Forestry was open to any suggestions as long as they were natives and as long as they aren’t going to create a predominance of one species over another,” Gooderham said.

Mullins said he was considering royal palm, cabbage palm and cinnamon bark as possible specimens for the planting.

“I’m going to meet with Jenny at the SCCF and try to get prices for the different products. My guess is that, with the amount of money we have, we can probably do four trees per property so we might want to increase the number of properties,” Mullins said.

“There was a limited number of properties with enough space to plant in the right of way,” Gooderham said. “If we can find more, that’s good, but the problem is that there are power lines and water pipes on the bay side of the road, so we realistically can’t do anything there. It has to be on the gulf side.

The panel will have a year to complete the project using the grant money.

The other part of the project will focus on plantings at Turner Beach.

For more information about the Captiva Community Panel, go to www.CaptivaCommunityPanel.com.