SARASOTA – A group of 102 Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Bay Guardian volunteers removed 2,500 pounds of invasive air potato vines and seeds October 19 at North Water Tower Park. Project partners included the City of Sarasota, Around the Bend Nature Tours, the North Trail Redevelopment Partnership, and the Bayou Oaks Neighborhood Association. Removing the invasive air potato vine supports the vitality of native vegetation. Prizes were given to volunteers collecting the biggest and smallest air potato seed.
More than 200 Bay Guardian volunteers have completed four projects in 2013. They included volunteer outings to Jiggs Landing and Perico Preserve in Manatee County and North Water Tower Park and Bay Walk Creek near New College in Sarasota County.
Several volunteer projects are already being planned for 2014 including an air potato roundup at Arlington Park, a native planting along the Braden River at Jiggs Landing, a rain garden project at New College of Florida, and a joint project with Tampa Bay Estuary Program to plant natives at Perico Preserve.
The SBEP Bay Guardians is the area's largest and most active volunteer program focused on Sarasota Bay. The program is managed in partnership with Around the Bend Nature Tours. New volunteers receive a blue tee shirt featuring the Bay Guardians logo. Each outing includes environmental education and a picnic lunch.
Join the Bay Guardians for a single project or as an ongoing commitment. Local school, scout and church groups should email Stephanie Hames.
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