Suwannee Community Cleanup
Suwannee Community Center, 23465 SE Hwy 349 (opposite the Salt Creek Restaurant)
Wednesday, October 18 at 8:30 am
Boat, walk or ride your golf cart to help de-litter the roads and waterways around the village of Suwannee. Refuge staff will transport volunteers down the river from Fowlers Bluff, there is room for 16 onboard.
Free smoked chicken lunch provided by Jerry Everett of the Waterfront Market.
Contact: Debbie Meeks 352-278-5088
RSVP for the Fowlers Bluff boat ride
As we know, the number of staff members at our Refuges has been cut over the past several years. One unfortunate result is that visitors to the headquarters compound often have less personal interaction with the people who know the Refuges well and can share information about their history, where interesting sites can be found, the fishing and hunting opportunities, or the best wildlife viewing spots.
Over the same few years, Friends has developed many walking and paddling trails, making information about them available in print and online for free. But a brochure never quite does what a conversation could do.
So, we are considering the establishment of a Friends Visitor Contact Program. If there are Friends members interested, we plan a get-together to talk through plans and possibly set up a pilot project starting as early as November.
One thought is that Friends volunteers would spend time at the front desk greeting walk-in visitors and chatting with them about the Refuges. The volunteers would need to be knowledgeable and able to work independently of the Refuge staff. We would provide training and information.
Each Friends member will receive an email soon about this idea. If such a program might interest you, email firstname.lastname@example.org to be on the contact list for the initial discussion.
Be in Cedar Key the weekend of October 21 and 22! The Seafood Festival will be in full swing on both Saturday and Sunday. Friends will have an information booth at the City Park. We will be telling visitors where, why, and how to visit the refuges by car, on foot, or in boats. We will also have Friends merchandise for sale to help raise awareness of the importance of our Refuges to the community and its economy. If you could help out for a couple of hours either day at the booth, it would be great! Email email@example.com.
Double benefit -- On Saturday, the Refuge, in partnership with the Nature Coast Biological Station, will hold on Open House at Seahorse Key. The island is only open a few times a year. The Open House is free. You need to find your own way out there, either by personal boat or by taking one of the private, fee-based shuttle services that leaving from the Cedar Key dock.
Kayak-Fishing Guides in the Works
The Refuges, in partnership with the Nature Coast Biological Station, engaged William Wolfson a summer intern to initiate work on a series of kayak-fishing guides. The Friends will continue the project this fall and work to develop them into user-friendly brochures.
In the interim, we have posted the draft documents, knowing that interest in kayak-fishing in this area is high. Please use them knowing that refinement may be needed. We would appreciate your providing comments here or sending them to us a firstname.lastname@example.org. Find them under the Maps/Trails tab above.
Partners in Science & Community: Our Refuges and UF's Nature Coast Biological Station