Lee County 4-H / Trail Blazers 4-H Club
4-H Trail Blazers’ youth Reed & Grant Gilmore – ages 12 and 8, planned, organized, and led the Lee County 4-H Civic Day Service Project to continue the mangrove restoration they started a year earlier on Conservation 20/20 land. This land impacts not only the residents of Pine Island but future generations to come.
On October 12, 2013, using a mini-grant from the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, a non-profit organization started by former State 4-H President Sean Russell dedicated to empowering youth, the 4-H Trail Blazers’ club youth and Park Rangers Mickey Miller and Parke Lewis collected, raised, and planted propagules, also known as seedlings and conducted field research on the status of last year’s plantings.
Because of their dedication to the environment, commitment to conservation, and the partnership with Lee County Park Rangers, Lee County 4-H youth planted over 300 new mangroves in addition to the 200 planted the year before.
Mangroves are incredibly important to Southwest Florida because they provide food, shelter, and structure for estuarine sea life. Mangroves serve as a hurricane buffer, conserving 20/20 land for our children and their children. Mangroves also improve our water quality, protecting against coastal erosion, providing a habitat for birds and wildlife. They are also crucial to southwest Florida’s commercial and recreational fishing economies.
Originally published by Luke Turner; County Reporter, Lee County 4-H; Club Reporter, 4-H Trail Blazers Club