The Friends of Weedon Island have been very active these past few years. The Board of Directors and members continue to support exceptional environmental preservation and education at the Weedon Island Preserve and we are fortunate to have so many strong partnerships. In recent years, we have increased our support in many ways.
Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments during 2011 and 2012:
- Awarded 1st place in the “Friend of Florida Natural Resource Extension Professionals” category at the Extension Professional Associations of Florida conference on August 28, 2012.
- Received a “Sunshine Ambassador Award” from the City of St. Petersburg on September 13, 2012.
- Re-opened the gift shop in May 2011, generating more than $6,000 in sales.
- Provided 20 scholarships for underprivileged youths attending the summer Wildlife Ecology and Herpetology camps.
- Funded the excavation of a pre-historic canoe found within the preserve. Following excavation, the Friends have funded the preservation of the canoe, which will be displayed in the Cultural and Natural History Center.
- Organized the 1st annual “Gopher Weedon 7 Km Trail Run” on November 19, 2011, raising money to support Weedon Island preservation and education. Event drew 100 participants and more than 25 volunteers. Numerous local businesses provided sponsorships and donations.
- Friends are currently planning for the second annual race, to be held on Saturday, November 3, 2012.
- Provided refreshments at various Pinellas County and/or SeaGrant programs including:
o Salty Topics Marine Science Seminar Series (~monthly seminars starting in September 2011)
o For the Love of Weedon event (February 2012)
- Co-hosted the volunteer appreciation breakfast (provided food and volunteer time) in conjunction with Weedon Island, SeaGrant and FYCCN staff in January 2012.
- Provided feedback on the 2012 Weedon Island Management Plan in February 2012.
- Held the annual FOWI membership meeting and picnic, as well as a free paddle through the Preserve in May 2012.
- Provided assistance and financial support for other Preserve activities, including speakers, guided hikes, and educational programs and supplies.
These activities were possible with the support of our members and Directors. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to Weedon!
Contributed by Lindsay Cross, President, Friends of Weedon Island, Inc., September, 2012