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Tag Archives: Southwest Florida

Share the Shore with Beach-Nesting Birds

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By Renee Wilson renee.wilson@dep.state.fl.us    Southwest Florida has long been considered one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation. Beautiful weather, amazing beaches, and breathtaking wildlife attract thousands of visitors and new residents to our area each year. From April through August, three species of beach-nesting birds also visit Marco area beaches for their nesting habitat. Nesting locations include the sand bar at Caxambas Pass, Sand Dollar Island, Tigertail Beach, and beaches within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve such as Keewaydin Island, Kice Island, and Cape Romano shoals. Least terns and black skimmers nest together in mixed ... Read More »

Oleanders for a Spring, Summer and Fall Show of Color

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By Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Oleanders (Nerium oleander) an evergreen shrub that makes a great specimen plant when planted in the garden but also makes a great hedge or container plant. However you decide to use this plant shrub, hedge or standard (tree), it will always be a very colorful and showy plant. Oleanders bloom from spring to fall, coming in colors of orange, pink, red, white and yellow. Some have single flowers and there are others with a double bloom. Flowers are usually in clusters at the end of branches. Oleanders can grow up to 12 feet and are almost ... Read More »

Enter the Wildlife Photo Contest Today

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff It’s final call for anyone wanting to enter the Eighth Annual City of Marco Island Wildlife Amateur Photo Contest. The contest closes to entries on April 24th. Winners will be announced May 1st. If you have any photos you have shot during the past year that you are considering entering, there is still time. Categories were combined this year into Land and Marine Animals, Insects and Plants and Trees and Landscapes. Black and white, color photos and photos creatively enhanced are all acceptable. Camera type is not limited, so whether you’re using a Canon, a ... Read More »

Collier County’s First Senior Center: Over 150 Attend First Birthday Party To Celebrate New Name, Expansion

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Submitted The Naples Senior Center, a program of JFCS of Southwest Florida, hosted more than 150 guests on March 31 to enjoy a huge birthday cake, browse artwork by members and listen to dignitaries express gratitude for the role the Center plays in giving local seniors a place to find friendship, activities and services. When the Naples Senior Center opened a year ago, it was the first such center in Collier County. In one short year, it has grown to 580 members. “When JFCS began planning the Senior Center we did some research,” Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, president and CEO of ... Read More »

Growing Angraecums: Exotic orchids that thrive in SW Florida

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Submitted It’s surprising that most orchid hobbyists in Southwest Florida know very little about Angraecums, especially when the orchids thrive in South Florida’s sub-tropics. The Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance invites you to a presentation by Tom Kuligowski at its “Third Thursday” Member Event on April 16, 2015 at the Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church at 1225 Piper Blvd., Naples, FL 34110 from 6:30–8:30 PM. Guests are welcome at no charge. Angraecums are known for their beautiful showy flowers, some of which give off nocturnal fragrances. The orchids can grow to become fantastic specimen plants within only a few years. They are easy ... Read More »

Conservancy to host Earth Day Festival April 18

Featuring live animal shows, special programs, live music, local vendors and exhibits, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s annual Earth Day Festival is a “not-to-be-missed” eco- and family-friendly event for all ages. The public is invited to the Conservancy’s annual Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at the Conservancy Nature Center, 1495 Smith Preserve Way in Naples. Conservancy biologist and python expert Ian Bartoszek will share his innovative work with pythons in Southwest Florida; the Naples Zoo will present its popular animal show featuring live animals; and Conservancy Veterinarian, Dr. P.J. Deitschel will be back to ‘wow’ ... Read More »

Magic Under the Mangroves™ raises $1.3 million

Southwest Florida’s largest fundraiser supporting the region’s water, land and wildlife initiatives, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s annual Magic Under the Mangroves™ gala dinner and auction fundraiser raised $1.3 million to benefit the organization. More than 420 guests attended the March 5 event held on the grounds of the Conservancy Nature Center. Presented by Northern Trust, the Magic Under the Mangroves fundraiser is a key source of revenue for Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Since 2005, the event has raised nearly $7 million with all proceeds supporting the Conservancy mission to “protect our water, land, wildlife and future” in the region. ... Read More »

Naples Children & Education Foundation presents Conservancy with $80,000 grant

The Naples Children & Education Foundation presented the Conservancy of Southwest Florida with an $80,000 grant on March 9. The grant, awarded through funds raised during the Naples Winter Wine Festival, will provide support for the Conservancy’s work with the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County as well as the Conservancy’s summer camp programs. Naples Winter Wine Festival Grant Committee Chair Jim Dixon and co-chairs Chuck and Sharon Hallberg and Sandi and Tom Moran presented the check to Nicki Dardinger, Director of Education for the Conservancy. Also on hand were two children, Alexander Knapp and Taniya Wright, who have ... Read More »

Small Trees but Big Show

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Plant Talk By Mike Malloy For all of us who want to have one of the showiest trees in town in our gardens (Royal Poinciana) and just don’t have the room because of their size, here are some of my favorite small trees that can be grown in courtyards, containers and small yards here in southwest Florida that can also be as special as the big boys. Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinina pulcherrima) is the little brother to the Royal Poinciana but a much smaller size. This evergreen shrub that can be pruned and trained into a specimen small tree, usually about ... Read More »

Fine Art on Marco Island

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Submitted The Marco Island Public Library The Marco Island Public Library and the Marco Island Center for the Arts work cooperatively to provide monthly art shows at the Marco Library branch on Heathwood Drive. The month of February will feature the charming watercolors of Marco Island artist Elizabeth (Betty) Sheridan. Elizabeth’s drawings are inspired by local color in both northern (Hadley, MA) and the tropical surroundings of Southwest Florida. Her work features bright tropical flora, lively greenery, landscapes, seascapes and buildings in clear tones with evocative light & shadow. MI Chamber of Commerce The Marco Island Chamber of Commerce office ... Read More »

Bromeliads in the South Florida Landscape

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Bromeliads are finally getting the attention they deserve. Until recently, they were only popular with a small segment of house-plant enthusiasts. Today, bromeliads are prized tropical treasures in many Southwest Florida landscapes and public and private gardens. Featuring a wide range of color, leaf shapes and textures, bromeliads are as beautiful as they are hardy. If you’re looking for beautiful, exotic-looking tropical plants that are easy to care for and drought tolerant, look no further than bromeliads. Bromeliads are in the Bromeliaceae family, which is native to the tropical Americas. The pineapple plant is the most ... Read More »

So, How Do You Feel?

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd There seems to be quite a lot of information written about health care issues. In addition to this—my regular column in Coastal Breeze News—practically every local publication features some sort of healthcare-related column. Add the “news-related coverage” that local journalists assign to the comings and goings of doctors and staff from Southwest Florida’s abundant healthcare originations and, invariably, it can get confusing. Why? We sometimes don’t know who or what to believe. And yes, I most certainly include myself in the aforementioned group of “we.” However, as the CEO of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard, I would like ... Read More »

Stretton, FACA 2A Player of the Year

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He was the target for every team he played, yet he produced, leading his team to a record season of wins, 16 and fewest losses, 7. For his effort Marco Island Academy’s Cole Stretton was named Florida Athletic Coaches Association 2A Player of the Year for Southwest Florida. Stretton averaged 22 points a game, yet Coach Roger Raymond pointed to his unselfish team play. “Cole is one of the most unselfish players I have ever coached,” Raymond said. “There were games where he could have scored more, but chose to pass off in support of his teammates. In one game ... Read More »

Join Us for “Discover Tigertail”

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Submitted Friends of Tigertail Beach is hosting “Discover Tigertail”, February 21, 2015 from 9AM to noon. This is a free family program that addresses the marine life and other wildlife that inhabit the Tigertail Beach lagoon. There will be nine “information stations” spotted around the lagoon. Take part in seining for creatures from the lagoon or enjoy hands-on activities about loggerhead sea turtles, shore birds, sharks, butterflies, plants, seashells and more. Our specialists are from Rookery Bay, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Marco Shell Club. Featured again this year, will be the very popular scavenger hunt, “Question Quest”, enjoyed ... Read More »

Civil Air Patrol SAREX training

Final briefing of air and ground crews before mission. SUBMITTED photoS

By Col. Dave Gardner On 23-25 January 2015, the Civil Air Patrol’s Marco Island Senior Squadron conducted a three-day search and rescue exercise (SAREX) with a mission-base at the Marco Island Airport. 21 CAP members from the Marco Squadron and 1 from the Naples Senior Squadron participated in the sorties and managed the SAREX. Civil Air Patrol squadrons combined their experienced personnel and equipment assets to conduct this large three-day event. Having aircrew and administrative staff from both Squadrons flying and working together helped hone their skills in searching for downed aircraft, lost boaters and kayakers, as well as spotting ... Read More »

Steven A. Hennell: Building Marco’s Green Dream Homes

Looks can be deceiving... this home is GREEN!
Building High Efficiency Healthy Homes

By Coastal Breeze News Staff What makes a good home? Sturdy walls, hurricane-rated windows, fine and fancy appliances. What makes a smart home? One that can utilize simple concepts and smart technology while actually saving the homeowner money. Ask Steve A. Hennell of Steven A. Hennell Inc., Custom Home Building and Remodeling. Last year, the Marco Island custom home builder won the Aurora Award for “Green New Construction” at the 2014 Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) for his Florida Green Building Certified Model Home at 316 Bald Eagle Drive. The home now serves as the model center for Hennell and consists ... Read More »

Aqua Construction and Development: Custom Homes to Commercial Projects

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By Don Manley Quality rather than quantity is of primary importance at Aqua Construction and Development. “Our goal is not to build the most homes, but instead the most beautiful homes,” said Rod Bushnell, who founded the company more than 23 years ago. Aqua Construction has centered its sights on redefining waterfront luxury living with a combination of exquisite design and thoughtful architecture. From concept to creation, each custom home is built to the buyer’s specifications with the highest quality craftsmanship. Through its four-step construction process, the company prides itself on providing a personalized home building experience with exceptional customer ... Read More »

A Family Affair at AP Builders Construction Services

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By Don Manley The construction business is a family affair for AP Builders Construction Services founder and owner Alex Parker III. He grew up learning at the feet of his father, who was a premier carpenter in metropolitan Detroit from the 1950s through the 1970s. By the age of 12, Parker began spending summers on rough-carpentry crews. From there, he progressed to finished carpentry at age 18. When he was 20, Parker built his first home, and with that, a career in custom home building was born. Those lessons he learned from his father included more than important instruction in ... Read More »

Jane Watt, In Her Own Words

The students headed out en masse to Big Cypress, and they came prepared with mosquito nets.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Jane Watt is many things. She is a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, an educated woman with a degree in zoology and a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. As the founder and chairperson of Marco Island Academy (MIA) — the local public charter high school — she also is a woman from a small Midwestern town who moved to Southwest Florida and succeeded in bringing high-quality secondary education to Marco Island and its surrounding communities, and she did it with no background in education. Watt details ... Read More »

Rookery Bay’s Citizen of the Year

Pictured from left to right: Chris Hagan, past president of East Naples Civic Association; Gary Lytton, citizen of the year; and Marci Seamples, president East Naples Civic Association.

Gary Lytton, director for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, was named “Citizen of the Year” by the East Naples Civic Association at their annual banquet on Jan. 19. The award is given annually to a citizen that has provided a long history of service to the East Naples community. “Rookery Bay Reserve is the jewel of East Naples and has been a great asset to the entire community,” said Chris Hagan, past president of the association. “During Gary’s tenure it has flourished. His dedication and hard work in environmental education has been exceptional.” Lytton, with degrees in biology and marine science, ... Read More »