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The Collier Seminole Update The Volunteer Newsletter of Collier-Seminole State Park 20200 E. Tamiami Trail, Naples, Florida 34114 December, 2007 Edition Staff: Manager’s Notes: Park Manager: Chad Lach Asst. Manager: Kirby Wilson Admin. Asst: Pinar Sevindik Park Services Specialist: Chris Kimball Rangers: Pete Brockmann Michelle Craig Henry Gonzalez Jerry Innis Welcome one and all to the 2008 season. We have a lot in store for you, but I Environmental Specialist: first wanted to tell you about a few changes that have been made over the Maulik Patel summer months. The update to the park entrance sign has been completed by a local Eagle Scout, Glenn Hatt, with a few native plants and some crushed Editor: PSS Chris Kimball shells. It really makes the front entrance stand out. We love to give our park 239-394-3397 visitors the best first and last impressions. e-mail: Christopher.Kimball@dep.state.fl.us The campground has also received an update. We have enlarged a few of our Asst. Editors and Photographers: sites that previously caused problems with RV’s being parked on top of each Rosemary & Art Rengers other. The park now has a total of 120 sites. Sites 1-19 in the small circle e-mail: email@example.com remain the same. All of the changes took place in the main camping area. Unfortunately, we will not be able to take any more reservations for the rest of In this Issue: the season. This is because the reservation system still is being worked on to include our campground updates. However, we will be able to accept as many Working the Wildfires walk-in campers as we can fit. So tell your friends and family we are open and ready for them to enjoy their stay. You may notice the location of the Jammin' in the Hammock Festival Campground Host sites have also changed. They are now centrally located Guided Canoe Trips & Night Hikes allowing campers to more easily find a volunteer when they are in need. Welcome Back Maulik Patel Finally, the Bay City Walking Dredge received a face lift. After years of work and then years of sitting in Florida’s humid climate the dredge started to rust New Seasonal Volunteers away. We were able to have a company come out and remove all of the rust, Home Depot Donation prime and repaint her, bringing her back to her glory days. If you have not seen her lately, stop by and take a look. Bandstand Under Construction Eagle Scout Project We are currently gearing up for our Bluegrass Festival. Bands have been chosen, vendors picked and a stage built. There is still a lot to do, but I have Future Events Calendar all the confidence in the world that between the CSO, Volunteers, and staff, we will be ready come February 16th. CSO Membership Application Chad Lach, Park Manager Working the Wildfires By Chris Kimball This past spring from March to May, Collier County experienced one of the busiest wildfire seasons seen in many years. During three months, over 100,000 acres burned in southwest Florida, making some very difficult, smoky mornings. Wildfires occurred in most of the state & federal parks, and wildlife preserves within Collier County, ranging in size from 100 acres to 18,000 acres. Big Cypress National Preserve had a large series of wildfires that covered a total of 63,000 acres. In early May, the smoke was so great that it looked like a volcano erupting in southwest Florida from the smoke rising into the atmosphere. Fakahatchee Wild Fire May 2007 So what is it like to come out and work these fires? Gathering all the memories and notes together, here is the perspective of For park rangers working a fire, either a prescribed one of your local park rangers who was working on a few fires. burn or wildfire, it is one activity they really enjoy. They often see areas of the park or preserve that few Rangers at Collier-Seminole State Park were working a fire in people will ever find. They have seen rare orchids in March that kept on burning and refused to go out. The bloom, and places of wildlife habitat, like a colony of cypress swamps were dry, so wet areas that usually make a gopher tortoises that they discovered. Almost natural barrier against the fire were igniting. Falling ash immediately after a burn, deer will be found in the would drop smoldering embers that would ignite other black areas, licking the ash for potassium or looking cabbage palms and saw palmettos. Often these embers would for new green shoots on the ground. Wildlife quickly be too high up in the tree to be squirted by a fire hose, so they returns to take advantage of the opened space for would be left to quickly consume the fronds. new nesting areas or feeding grounds. Because most areas burn too quick to try and extinguish when A month later, a visit to the previously burned areas it is dry, attention is given to reinforce fire breaks. Tractor present a beautiful scene. The grass has returned plows and regular tractors with tilling devices are run over with tall shoots that are bright & lush green. Areas previously established trails and primitive roadways. Of- previously choked by brush have opened up and ten areas to the side of the fire breaks are watered down with present a beautiful vista. Wildflowers are in bloom fire trucks and brush trucks (smaller, flatbed trucks with a everywhere. Animals have returned and can be seen 200 gallon water tank and fire hoses with a water pump) to without much trouble. It is as if the natural area is further prevent fire from crossing the line. A continuous relay back in all its glory. Nothing is more satisfying than of tractors and fire trucks will constantly patrol the line to coming back to see the natural community restored reinforce the fire break or quickly extinguish the flames that in vibrant color. have jumped the line. There are many areas where it becomes too narrow for a brush truck or tractor to enter, so many ATV’s and 4-by-4 vehicles are used with water tanks and spraying mechanisms. The biggest priority on working fires is given to trying to reduce smoke falling on the town or roadways, and to prevent any home or structures from being in danger of fire. Sometimes the fire is too large and impossible to control, so priority is given to protect life and property. Every operation of wildfire suppression is controlled under team leaders, with an overall commander known as an Incident Commander. Everyone is organized into teams with particular jobs, from running a water pump on a fire engine to doing mop-up. The operation structure of the fire team is organized the same as a military operation in a battlefield scenario. But this is a battle which we know will be over within a few days or weeks. 2 weeks after the fire you can start to see new growth Jammin' in the Hammock by Rosemary & Art Rengers A bluegrass festival, Jammin' in the Hammock, hosted by The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park, will replace the traditional re-enactment festival at Collier-Seminole State Park on the 3rd weekend of February, the 16th and 17th, 2008 (Saturday and Sunday). Festival hours are: Saturday: 9 am-9:30 pm Sunday: 9 am-9:00 pm Featuring music by: The Carolina Rebels The Doerfel Family GUIDED CANOE TRIPS AND NIGHT HIKES The Fleas NEW AT COLLIER-SEMINOLE STATE PARK Flat Mountain String Band Bluegrass Stagecoach Band Looking for some fun? Come join our park naturalists on one or Palms Bluegrass more of our canoe and hiking adventures at Collier-Seminole State Stoney Brook Park. Daytime canoe trips on the Blackwater River, run every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday through February. Moonlight Saturday only entry fee: $14.00/person canoe trips take place December 22 & 23, January 20 & 21, and Sunday only entry fee: $12.00/person February 19 & 20. Night hikes are January 7 and February 4 . To Children 13 yrs. and under: Free register, call 239-394-3397 up to 30 days in advance. Space is limited so sign up early. This series is sponsored by the Friends of Parking is Free. Collier-Seminole State Park and all money is used for park improvements. Park entrance fee is waived on day of event. Buy a 2-day pass day of and enjoy the whole week- CASH OR CHECK ONLY. end for only $22.00. Advanced Ticket Sales: Check or money order Day Canoe Trips: 9:30AM-12:30PM must be received by Feb. 10. Sat.-$13, Sun. $11, $15 per person with your own canoe both days: $20. Tickets to be picked up[ at concert 25 per person with rental canoe gate. Send name, address and phone # to Friends Age 6 and older of Collier-Seminole State Park at 20200 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, FL 34114 Moonlight Canoe Trips: 7:00-9:30PM $20 per person with your own canoe The festival will be held in the park's boat basin, $30 per person with rental canoe which is at the headwaters of the Blackwater River. Age 12 and older A 60 x 90 foot tent in front of the new bandstand will provide shade for attendees, who are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs. There are Night Hikes 7:30PM-9:00PM also covered picnic tables in the area. $10 per person age 6 and older There will be many food and other vendors. We'll Trips interpret local wildlife, history and folklore. have choices of hamburgers, hot dogs, fish baskets, pulled pork bar-b-que plates, chicken wraps, fresh -cut french fries, pork chops on a stick, fresh- squeezed lemonade, soft pretzels, and funnel cakes , to mention a few. Other vendors will be offering jewelry and other novelty gifts. The childrens' booth will feature games and face painting, SPECIAL NOTE: No pets, coolers or alcohol will be permitted in the festival area. CAMPING: Limited camping available, on a first come, first served basis. The photo above shows the newly restored Bay City Walking Dredge NEW SEASONAL VOLUNTEERS Maulik "Moe" Patel Ernie and Kim Hinrichs from Crown Point, Indiana Welcome back Moe! have joined some of the early season regular volunteers. Residents of Crown Point, Indiana, this is Maulik "Moe" Patel is originally from Chicago, the second marriage for both. Ernie has one son and Illinois, where he has lived most of his life. He one daughter and no grandchildren (likewise Kim earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from also). Eastern Illinois University. In the fall of 2000, Maulik moved down to Naples to pursue a career Ernie was raised in the Midwest and became a volunteer fireman, meat butcher, mill worker, in the environmental field. He worked for the salesman and for 16 years a politician in the town of Conservancy of Southwest Florida for three years Frankfort, Illinois. He spent 8 years as village trustee. as an intern and then a naturalist. As planning commissioner he became aware of badly needed signage. Thus, after getting off the politics, he In 2003, he joined the Florida Park Service family started his own sign as a park ranger at Collier-Seminole State Park. shop. This past October he sold his business for Then later he moved over to Estero Bay Preserve Florida a retirement and driving his motorhome. State Park as an Environmental Specialist and now he returns to Colliler-Seminole State Park as of Kim was raised on the east coast and early on became October 1, 2007. an artist. Getting an education in art and business led to starting her own business, spending 17 years in Currently, Maulik is working with a newly formed galleries and juried shows across the country. For the team called V.I.P.E.R., which stands for past 18 years she has been a muralist in the Midwest, Vanguards Incinerating Pyric communities for Eco working in homes and commercial establishments. Restoration. The sole purpose of the team is to aid Kim plans to keep painting forever. other parks within the district with resource management goals with emphasis on prescribed Their hobbies: Ernie: travel, fishing and gardening fire. Maulik also works with exotic removal of Kim: Art, Art, Art, some fishing and plants within the park. lots of travel Maulik is always looking for year-round help with Kim and Ernie joined Ernie's brother Joe and sister-in-law Lee who are seasoned volunteers. Both exotic removal of plants. Call the ranger station at Kim and Ernie have already been working on signage 239-394-3397 for more information and art work for the bluegrass festival. Teresa Turner, Pro Desk Supervisor at Home Depot Eagle Scout Glenn Hatt Ms. Turner arranged for Home Depot to donate goods Local Eagle Scout Glenn Hatt and assistants spent toward building a bandstand and related materials. The many hours working on the front entrance to the Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park are most park. The above photo shows them working this appreciative of Home Depot's assistance as the past summer. volunteers work toward the park's first bluegrass festival. The Finished Project Glenn and his helpers worked on improving the entrance sign area, as well the area surrounding the flag poles. Bandstand under Construction Those who are driving past the park will notice that Volunteers and staff are putting in many hours there is a new flag. In addition to the American flag constructing a portable bandstand, which will be and the state flag, we are now flying a POW/MIA flag. 10 x 28 feet, with a roof. Stairs will lead up on both sides. Future Events Calendar Before construction began, volunteers checked with other bluegrass festival promoters, including Ken Feb. 26-29: Majorie Stoneman Douglas Festival Shivel of the Lions Bluegrass Festival and Gene Mar. 1: Swamp Country Fair and Concert Vaccaro, of Bonita Springs Flamingo Flea Market. Apr. 26-27: Tamiami Trail 80th Anniversary They gave helpful input about height, design and recommendations for banners. For more info call: Museum of the Everglades 239-695-0008 THE FRIENDS OF COLLIER-SEMINOLE MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION Annual memberships run from Jan. 1 through Dec. 1 each year. STATE PARK, INC. We are inviting everyone on our mailing list to We are a non-profit Citizens Support Organization (CSO) join Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park, Inc. for Collier-Seminole State Park To join, fill in the following: Our purposes: Date:____________________________ --to cultivate greater public understanding Name:___________________________ of the natural, social and cultural history of the park and its surrounding areas. Address:_________________________ --to enhance appreciation and enjoyment City/State/Zip_____________________ of the natural resources of Collier-Seminole State Park. Phone #__________________________ --to sponsor the annual Bluegrass Festival Alternate Phone #__________________ (3rd weekend in February) and other fund raising activities for park improvement. E-mail:__________________________ --to assist park management and staff with resource management, interpretation, _____Single $10.00/year recycling and facility maintenance. _____Family $15.00/year _____Business $25.00/year E-MAIL ADDRESSES REQUESTED _____Seniors or Students $5.00/yr. In order to cut expenses, for those of you who have e -mail, please give us your e-mail address to receive DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME our newsletter. Your address will not be shared with any other organization. Thank you for your tax deductible donation E-mail us indicating that you wish to remain on our mailing list. Send e-mail to the editor: Christopher.Kimball@dep.state.fl.us Please return the above form to: Treasurer Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park, Inc. 20200 E. Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL 34114
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