Saturday, September 21, 2019

Making strides to improve the Fakahatchee Boardwalk

Fakahatchee boardwalk.

Fakahatchee boardwalk.

An opportunity to walk in the swamp is still possible for those who missed the Labor Day weekend event at Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery in Ochopee. Donna Glann-Smyth, a Master Naturalist, will guide walkers every Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., now through March. Private tours are also available Wednesdays through Fridays. For more information or to make reservations, email bcg@clydebutcher.com, visit website www.clydebutcher.com or call (239) 695-2428.

If you don’t like getting your feet wet, take a stroll along the Fakahatchee Boardwalk on the Tamiami Trail, just three miles east of Port of the Islands. The Friends of Fakahatchee have launched an ambitious fundraising campaign to make improvements to the 50-year old structure that is visited by 10,000 people a month during season. The State of Florida has offered to match $3 for every $1 the Friends collect by November 1, 2010, so time is of the essence. Their goal is to raise $100,000 (for a match of $300,000). The money will provide them with some of the necessary funds to not only expand and improve the Boardwalk, but also to provide permanent toilet facilities, a safer parking lot, and educational display areas. The history of the Boardwalk goes back to the late 1960s when Lester Norris, a Naples philanthropist, built the original structure. He later sold the property to the Florida Park Service. This area of the Fakahatchee Strand is a bird-watchers’ paradise and is the world’s only swamp forest that contains both old growth bald cypress trees (some over 700 years old) and native royal palm trees. To watch a short DVD about the Boardwalk, visit website www.orchidswamp.org/boardwalk.php. To donate to their cause and for more information, phone 239-695-2905 (photo courtesy of Marya Repko).

The upcoming annual Red Snook Tournament, to be held on October 1-3, will benefit The Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Fishing is from Chokoloskee, Goodland, or Naples on Saturday and Sunday. For more info, visit www.conservancy.org/redsnook or phone (239) 403-4200.

For more information about what’s happening around the Everglades City area, see website www.evergladesmulletrapper.com.

Patricia Huff has lived in Everglades City for the past 16 years and is the Publisher of The Mullet Rapper. For more information about the Everglades City area, see The Mullet Rapper online at www.evergladesmulletrapper.com.

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