SPEAKER SERIES PROGRAM

"GAINESVILLE’S TREATMENT WETLANDS"
Sweetwater Wetlands Park and the Proposed Groundwater Recharge Wetland
Tuesday, FEBRUARY 6
speaker Debbie Segal
President, Alachua Audubon Society

The ecological, recreational, and ecotourism benefits of Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) Sweetwater Wetlands Park are wide-ranging and represent a triple crown winner for water quality, wildlife, and visitors. Because of Sweetwater’s many community-wide benefits, GRU has decided to construct a second treatment wetland, on the west side of Gainesville.

This new Groundwater Recharge Wetland will be designed to recharge the Floridan aquifer with cleaner water. Learn how Sweetwater Wetlands Park and other constructed treatment wetlands successfully and inconspicuously clean water bodies while attracting an abundant and diverse bird population.





FIELD TRIP
Wetland Preserve near Rice Creek, Palatka, FL
Saturday, FEBRUARY 24

Join us for an agri-tour of Wetland Preserve, LLC, a private conservation property adjacent to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 4500 acre Rice Creek Conservation Area. Wetland Preserve combines silviculture with preservation of our natural Florida and educational outreach. Wetland Preserve’s primary parcel consists of over 3,800 acres, all of which is protected by a Florida Forever conservation easement and also falls within the O2O wildlife corridor.

We will be in the field for 2-3 hours and using our feet as well as open-air buggies on this tour which will combine birding with learning how tree farming can be combined with conservation.

Difficulty Level 2: Open-air buggies and 0-1 miles walking on some rough ground Time and location details will be provided a few days prior to field trip date. Restrooms are available at this location

15 person maximum
To reserve your spot email
Laura Berkelman
lberkelman@windstream.net

Sallie Carlock
President



SFAS Program Meetings
Active: Oct. - May
Annual Report
When: Speaker Series Programs are held Tuesdays evenings at 6:45PM October thru May

Where: Trinity Episcopal Parish Hall (204 SR 26 downtown Melrose)

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Photo Credits
Photographs displayed on this website are copyrighted and were provided with permission by:
Ann Stodola
Dr. Jeff Smith
John Sloane
Richard Segall
Carol Sallette
Anne Pierce
Ida Little
Joyce King
Ray Franklin
Bill Chitty
Sallie Carlock
Jan & Bill Bolte
Keith Bollum
Bob Bird


Ordway-Swisher Biological Station field trip
September 2016
Fourteen people from Santa Fe Audubon Society and one Ordway-Swisher volunteer climbed aboard the Ordway-Swisher’s tram for an informative talk on fox squirrels, the nuances of timing prescribed fire to manage long-leaf pine habitat and the variations of that habitat for different species, and the reptiles and insects of the ephemeral ponds. Steven Coates, Associate Director of the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, led the discussion and was joined by Catherine Frock, a graduate student at UF. Dick Franz, a member of Santa Fe Audubon, retired Herpetologist and long-time researcher at the Ordway also joined the conversation.

The group was able to see first-hand the differences made to the environment by altering burn schedules even slightly and Coates explained how the fire teams worked to mimic natural lightning ignited fires to achieve stunning restorations. All the while the fire teams are paying close attention to protocols to achieve safety for the fire team members and for the neighbors of the property. “Fire is welcome to come in from the neighbors, but we don’t want it to leave.”

Frock, who is researching fox squirrels, displayed one of the radio collars describing its capabilities and limitations for providing data to the research team. Franz told of a flightless grasshopper found only in one pond at Ordway and one other pond nearby. Coates described how various animals have adapted different strategies to survive (and capitalize on) the periodic fires. One day after a recent fire, turkeys were first on the scene to feast on invertebrates.