James Evans, environmental biologist and Sanibel Natural Resources director, joins city environmental specialist Holly Downing in presenting a powerpoint program, discussion and Q&A on the Sanibel Island projects completed this past year. They will give detailed updates on several environmental issues currently affecting Sanibel and preview proposed projects and studies in the near future.
Admission to the 65th Master Gardener Lecture Series presentation of the Sanibel Captiva Garden Club is free and open to the public. The meeting starts at 10 a.m. on April 4 at the Sanibel Public Library.
Some of the topics covered include major improvements to the trail from Pond Apple Park to the Bailey Homestead tract, update on the spiraling white fly infestation, continued refinements to the island stormwater plan, fertilization issues, including golf courses and resorts, area fertilizer "captains" on Sanibel and a proposed EPA sanctioned test site for the air potato invasion using a safe beetle that destroys the invasive air potato plant.
Most cities of 200,000 population have a parks and recreation department, but do not have a department of Natural Resources. Sanibel's department is responsible for the city's land health, balance and natural beauty. They are charged to monitor, inspect and restore the city's preserves and undeveloped areas in partnership with SCCF. They monitor the bay and Gulf beaches, the Sanibel River for invasives and fertilizer runoff, and conduct ongoing programs to eliminate air potato and Brazilian pepper.
Aided by the city vegetation committee (all volunteers), they educate and certify our landscape/lawn services in fertilizer usage and identification of exotic invasive vegetation. Another responsibility is to apply for county, state and federal grants to help support their projects, which reduces the cost to the city.