In this issue ...
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!!
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 ...
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!).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
- Female Florida Black Bears are still in dens with their cubs.
- Bald Eagle eggs have hatched and some are now fledging!