102 SBEP Bay Guardian Volunteers Enhance Bioswale at Celery Fields
A group of 102 SBEP Bay Guardian volunteers enhanced a bioswale with 900 native plants at the new bird center at Celery Fields on Saturday morning. Project partners included SBEP, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Sarasota Audubon, Florida Native Plant Society, Brookside Middle School, and the Salvation Army. A bioswale is a shallow vegetated landscape area with gently sloped sides designed to hold rainwater.
SBEP supported the project with a Bay Partners Grant. Awarded in 2015, the grant supports the efforts by Sarasota Audubon and the Florida House Institute to educate residents about stormwater pollution, native plants, water conservation, and the Phillippi Creek watershed. Interpretative signs will be installed to support public education. SBEP Bay Partner Grants support local projects focused on Bay Education, Bay Restoration and Bay-Friendly Landscaping.
The Bay Guardians will visit Robinson Preserve Saturday, December 12 to complete a morning Oyster bagging project. This is a joint effort with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP). Project partners include SBEP, TBEP, Around the Bend Nature Tours, and the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department.
Coming in the first quarter of 2016 will be three Air Potato Roundup events to get rid of more of the invasive species at North Water Tower Park on January 16, Red Bug Slough on February 27, and Philippi Estate Park on March 12. Native plants are resilient to local environmental conditions and attract wildlife. Invasive species like the air potato compete with native plants, which can disrupt the balance of the bay’s ecosystem.
The award-winning Bay Guardians Program is managed by SBEP in partnership with Around the Bend Nature Tours. The group has donated many thousands of hours supporting restoration projects along the bay and in area parks and preserves. The Bay Guardians complete at least six projects in Sarasota and Manatee County each year. Each outing includes environmental education and a picnic lunch following the morning project.
Please contact Darcy Young at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a Bay Guardian.