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Downing and Evans to address Master Gardeners

By Staff | Feb 23, 2011

The 50th Master Gardener Lecture Series will be held on Thursday, March 3 at the Sanibel Public Library beginning at 10 a.m. Our speakers are Holly Downing and James Evans, staff members of the Department of Natural Resources of the City of Sanibel.

Their program will discuss and illustrate with excellent power point visuals the ongoing or recently completed projects such as the extensive restoration of Pond Apple Park and the installation of a pine tree grove in Paulsen Preserve and the recent successful air potato exchange at the Sanibel Island Farmer’s Market. Air potato has become one of our most invasive exotic and residents traded the air potatoes for a free native plant. Another resoration project is the removal of a deteriorating road at Bailey Beach and replanting the shoreline.

A proposed near future project includes the creation of a natural water treatment marsh at the Jordan Preserve on Casa Ybel. This is an effective passive method to clean our surface water runoff of contiminants. The department has scheduled the Sanibel Bayous Package Plant to be transformed into a wetlands area by removing tons of pit shell and sand used to decomissed this package plant.

The City of Sanibel provides office space, equipment and salaries, but a large portion of the funds necessary for these projects is obtained by grant writing to the county, state and federal governments. The department will also plan to partner with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) if the Bailey Homestead fundraiser is successful.

Downing and Evans are excellent speakers and experienced professionals who continue to maintain and improve our special ecosystems on Sanibel. Please join us for the annual update.

The meeting will be free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so arriving early at the library, located at 770 Dunlop Road, is advised.