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Volunteers sought for Public Lands Day

By Staff | Aug 28, 2015

A trio of Lee County Conservation 20/20 Lands will be among more than 2,000 sites nationwide participating in an effort to improve public lands.

One of those lands is in North Fort Myers and Lee County Parks & Recreation is looking for volunteers to lend a hand on National Public Lands Day, Saturday, Sept. 26.

The other Lee County Conservation 20/20 Lands and County Preserves include the Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve East at 10130 Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers; Matanzas Pass Preserve, 199 Bay Road, Fort Myers Beach; and Wild Turkey Strand Preserve, 11901 Rod & Gun Club Road, Fort Myers.

Vicki Little, who works for Parks & Rec, said the program is designed to bring people to the propertiesand get them outdoors to see what’s available to them, as well as improve and enhance the properties.

“We’ve had a few sign up so far. Cape Coral High School said it would bring students,” Little said, adding that the North Fort Myers property has about 20 volunteers signed up so far. “We want to bring people out so they can see they are accessible and that you can enjoy recreational activities.”

Volunteers will be placed in groups to perform such tasks as collecting invasive plants, maintaining trails, removing trash and helping with planting.

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three sites. The goal was to improve outdoor public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting in the effort.

Little said this is the first time Lee County has participated.

“One of our park rangers, Micky Miller, came up with the idea and brought it to my attention. We decided to ask site coordinators who would like to host. Lee Waller, coordinator at Caloosahatchee Creek, said he would be happy to host,” Little said.

Today the event has grown to include every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Many of the Conservation 20/20 properties have hiking and biking trails, as well as bird watching, possibly kayak launches, fishing, horseback riding and even public facilities.

The first 50 volunteers will receive a T-shirt and all volunteers will be given passes to any of the Lee County Parks & Recreation community pools.

“We’re very excited to be able to people aware of what we have and help us maintain this and hopefully they’ll come back and enjoy the facilities or become one of our volunteers year-round,” Little said.

Pre-registration is encouraged by calling Little at 533-7424 or emailing vlittle@leegov.com.

For detailed information on volunteering visit www.leegov.com/conservation2020/volunteer-opportunities.

Additional information can be found at www.publiclandsday.org.