Ridge Rangers March 2014 Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Ridge Rangers at work

March 2014

March Ridge Ranger Events

Everyone is welcome to participate in Ridge Rangers events. Please click on the links for the full details and to register.

Month View

See a monthly calendar view of Ridge Ranger events


Friday, March 7: Hand weeding of Ziziphus celata enclosures near FWC Carter Creek. Ziziphus celata is a federally endangered plant occurring in only a few remaining populations, and we'll be removing competing vegetation. This workday will be led by Stephanie Koontz of Archbold Biological Station.

Saturday, March 15: Remove Invasive Natal Grass to Protect Endangered Plant at FWC Royce Unit. Invasive natal grass is growing around rare eryngium plants in a restoration area and needs to be removed by hand. You'll also be seeing a remote section of the Royce management area that isn't easily visited!

Tuesday, March 18: Monitor/Weed the Scrub Lupine population at Mackay Gardens. Support the reintroduction of this endangered plant by helping to maintain one of the experimental plantings.

 Saturday, March 22: Remove Sand Pines to Restore Habitat for Scrub Jays at FWC Moody Branch. Help restore habitat for endangered scrub jays by removing small sand pines using hand saws, sawsalls, and chain saws (for qualified Ridge Rangers). Moody Branch is located near Parrish and rides are available from the Lake Wales Ridge Area.

Reference Links

Ridge Rangers Home Page: http://www.myfwc.com/ridgerangers

See where Ridge Rangers help

For Land Managers: Workday Request Form

Would you like to find out about the Ridge Rangers program, including how to participate? Send an email to the Ridge Rangers Coordinator

The Ridge Rangers Online Calendar has our schedule of upcoming volunteer events.

For Ridge Rangers working independently: find out how to report your hours at this link

Would you like to make a donation to help support Ridge Ranger workdays? See Ridge Rangers 501 (c)(3) Fund

On Flickr? Join the Ridge Rangers group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/ridgerangers

Facebook logo

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Twitter Logo

In this issue ...

Ridge Rangers and JROTC Cadets rebuild bridge

Ridge Rangers Rebuild Hiker's Bridge

Ridge Rangers, Lake Placid High School JROTC Cadets, and FWC Staff spent many hours in January and February of this year demolishing and rebuilding the hiker’s bridge at FWC Lake Placid Scrub. This bridge is on the trail a short distance from the visitor’s parking lot, and allows hikers to cross a small but always flowing creek. The bridge has been strengthened and completely re-decked and re-railed with composite wood that won’t decay.  You can see a map showing the location and more pictures of the effort at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ridgerangers/

 The Lake Placid Scrub visitor’s parking area is located on Placid View Drive about a mile north of State Road 70. The bridge is all ready for you …  now go take a hike!!

Acorns ... Acorns ... Acorns

Child pots acorns

At the "Touch the Truck" Festival on February 22 at Highlands Hammock State Park, Ridge Rangers engaged 80 festival attendees to pot  over 500  scrub oak acorns ...we’re now completely out of the 15,000 acorns gathered last year by Ridge Rangers! At least 3,000 have sprouted and will be ready for planting in restoration areas this summer ...

Ziziphus … uh, whataphus?


Ridge Rangers have workdays coming up to help support endangered Ziziphus celata. Here’s more about this very rare plant from the Center for Plant Conservation:

"Florida ziziphus was named and described in 1984 from a specimen that had languished in an herbarium drawer for 36 years. No live plant was known to the taxonomists who described it. But, beginning in 1987, six small populations of Florida ziziphus were discovered along a 35 mile stretch of the Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida. Its natural habitat was probably longleaf pine/wiregrass sandhill, but today four of the six known populations are in pastures, where they have been subjected to mowing, periodic attempts at eradication, and trampling by cattle."

Ridge Rangers will be hand weeding around ziziphus near FWC Carter Creek this Friday, and surveying for the rare plant in the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest on April 22 (Earth Day!).

Volunteer Land Steward Needed

FWC is looking for a volunteer land steward for the Osprey unit of the Hilochee Wildlife Management Area, located near I-4 and US 27. The hours are very flexible, and duties primarily include being the eyes and ears for this large property. Please contact bill.parken@myfwc.com for more.

In March on the Lake Wales Ridge ..

  • Female Florida Black Bears are still in dens with their cubs.
  • Bald Eagle eggs have hatched and some are now fledging!