Volunteers needed at Highlands Hammock State Park
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3852
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Ridge Rangers Program and Highlands Hammock State Park are looking for volunteers to help restore scrub jay habitat at the park on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27. Volunteers can sign up for one or both days.
“Sand pines tend to crowd out native scrub oak habitat along with other trees and plants that provide high-quality food and cover for wildlife,” said Bill Parken, FWC Ridge Rangers coordinator. “Your aid in removing these intruding trees helps ensure the health of the unique scrub oak ecosystem, which exists nowhere else on earth except on the ridges of central Florida.
Restoration work will start at 9 a.m. and be completed by 1 p.m. on both days. Admission to the park is free to participants. Volunteers will meet at the Recreation Hall prior to cutting efforts. State park staff will present a free educational program about the park to volunteers after work wraps up.
Volunteers may bring their own hand tools to cut down small sand pines that have intruded into scrub oak habitat, or they may choose to be issued tools on site.
To learn more or sign up for one or both days, please go to MyFWC.com/RidgeRangers and click on “Remove Sand Pine at Highlands Hammock State Park,” or contact Bill Parken at firstname.lastname@example.org.