About 50 volunteers recently came out to Conner Preserve in Pasco County to plant 2,000 longleaf pine seedlings over 5 acres of restored sandhill.
Volunteers were members of Lutz Boy Scout Troop 12, the Lutz/Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club and Lutz/Land O’ Lakes Lions Club. The Southwest Florida Water Management District provided the seedlings for the project and Senior Land Management Specialist Allen Milligan demonstrated how to properly plant longleaf pine seedlings by hand with a dibble.
“This effort supports the District’s objective to restore uplands and reintroduce longleaf pine trees back into the landscape,” Milligan said. “This species of pine once covered more than 90 million acres in the southeast and now exists in less than 3 percent of its original range. This project contributes to a statewide effort to restore the unique longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem.”
The Boy Scouts earn community service hours and a badge for their efforts towards this project. It also demonstrates the benefit of cooperative efforts among community organizations.