The island goes through a progression
as it is enhanced. First the island is cleaned of any debris and
trash. Next, the targeted exotics are killed. If camp sites are
desired, the exotics (usually Brazilian Pepper) are cut down and
stacked for firewood. The final step is converting the open areas
into camping and picnicking areas by adding fire pits, picnic tables,
and benches. In some cases, native plants might be put on site.
Australian pine shade trees, although invasive are left in place
until native plants can establish a canopy in the camping ground.
We typically choose Saturdays for the enhancement efforts. However,
all work and no play is not much fun at all! After the work is completed
many people enjoy fishing, or just relaxing and taking in the scenery.
Others may continue their stay and camp overnight.
T-shirts are provided for all who participate
in the event!
We meet on the 2nd Saturday of every month from October thru April
and have a volunteer appreciation day in May. We will meet at the
designated boat ramp at 8:00am and will return by 12:30pm. Campers
must register their vehicles prior to overnight parking. Please
check the schedule of events page for
times and locations and the message
board for recent updates.
Island Enhancement Projects
Last season, BC47 was the site of substantial enhancement
efforts. Through an adoption partnership with Florida Institute of Technology, students removed exotics,
added native plants, and erected an educational kiosk. IRLAP staff and volunteers also conducted a stabilization experiment along an eroding scarp on the north side of the island. This season
our goal is to continue to remove exotics to create more recreation
space, as well as monitor the stabilization experiment and planted natives.
IR36 was the main project site two years ago. The
island underwent a complete exotic removal, trail blazing, and native
planting. This season, we will continue to maintain trails, remove
resprouting exotic plants, and monitor the planted natives.
Over the past several months, SL3 has undergone large scale enhancement
efforts. Contractors have removed all the exotics from the island
and replanted the areas with native vegetation. Campsites, which
were previously overgrown with exotics and in disrepair, will be
refurbished with trails connecting each site. Although major construction
is almost finished the island continued maintenance monitoring of the newly added plants,
and diligent removal of any exotics that resprout. See pictures above from the project completion (left) and approximately 1 year later (right).
Dept. of Environmental Protection