Every year at camp, we have one day dedicated to the environment. And every year, on cue, it rains. Well, it is part of our environment! This year though, the rain was properly timed in between project sites (“Cue rain!”) allowing us a full day outside with some cloud cover to keep things a bit more comfortable (don’t get me wrong, it was still good and hot).
Our morning started at Birdsong Nature Center, a 500+ acre nature reserve where we divvied up into teams to conquer and remove invasive plant species. Our Project Impact volunteers wielded shovels and loppers to dig up and cut down plants and trees that may be hindering the growth of native species. They worked hard, and you could see the results of their efforts!
From there, we ventured into Florida and Tall Timbers Research Station. Although located outside of our usual Thomas County area, Tall Timbers focuses on the ecology and proper land management of fire-dependent ecosystems and wildlife in the Red Hill Region, which our community is an integral part of. Our first task was to track quail along a 2 mile forest trail using radio telemetry. This technique allows researchers to study the local population to learn how to better sustain their numbers, to better understand their preferred natural habitat, and how we can properly maintain it. Quail populations are in decline across the country, but not here! (Note: they also track snakes, turkey, and other wildlife! It’s not just about quail, it’s about stewardship.). Afterward, we gathered to meet some of the local natural inhabitants like the gopher tortoise.
Our campers should sleep well tonight! I know we will.