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Newsletter Dec 07 Color _Read-On

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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: timeoutart@earthlink.net
                                        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