News Releases

FWC, Boy Scouts plant dozens of native trees

News Release

Friday, February 25, 2011

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff teamed up with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 111 on Feb. 19 to plant dozens of native trees on a spoil island on Lake Okeechobee.

Together, FWC staff and the Palm Beach County-based Boy Scouts dug holes and planted more than 80 young trees, including red maple and bald cypress, on Buckhead Ridge Island, a manmade island on the north side of Lake Okeechobee. Once mature, the trees will help enhance habitat on the island.

Buckhead Ridge Island is one of six spoil islands, which means they were built from muck scraped from Lake Okeechobee's bottom after periods of drought. Over the past decade, FWC biologist and Lake Okeechobee ecology expert Don Fox and his team have constructed and planted the islands, which have become home to native wildlife, including bobcat, quail, turkey and turtles.

"The Scouts were a great help; we were able to plant a large number of trees in a short time," Fox said. "But what really made the day special was the opportunity to show these city and suburban kids this great lake and the diverse fish and wildlife resources that call this area home."

FWC Facts:
If you were born on or after June 1, 1975, you must pass a hunter safety course before you can buy a Florida hunting license.

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