District Volunteers Honored for Service

Ian SmithIan Smith, Learning Gate Community School student, and Heidi McCree, former Governing Board member, admire the trailer billboard featuring Smith.

Volunteers who give their time to help the District maintain and improve public lands, as well as restore Tampa Bay, were honored in April during the District’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Day.

Volunteers play an important role in the District’s efforts to improve recreation on District lands, restore valuable ecosystems and communicate the values inherent with conserving our natural resources.

The fourth annual celebration was held at Nature’s Classroom in Hillsborough County and featured the unveiling of a trailer used on volunteer work projects. The trailer sports a “billboard” that promotes the District’s Land Resources Volunteer Program.

Ian Smith, a student from the Learning Gate Community School, is featured in the billboard. His class planted marsh grass at the Schultz Preserve in conjunction with the District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program and Tampa Bay Watch.

“The billboard represents how today’s youth can help preserve and restore our natural resources for future generations,” said Joe Tyberghein, senior land use specialist. “We put it on our volunteer equipment trailer so prospective volunteers will know how to contact us.”

The celebration also included educational displays, a picnic lunch, animal exhibits, a boat ride, a nature hike, live music and an awards ceremony recognizing groups and individuals for their efforts.