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Nature notes

By JORGE SANCHEZ

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 21, 2001


RAINBOW RACE: A two-river paddling event for canoe/kayak paddlers is scheduled for April 28 for the Rainbow and Withlacoochee rivers. The competition will be at the Rainbow River at County Road 484, Dunnellon. Parking will be at the County Road 484/Rainbow River tuber exit. Complimentary lunch provided for competitors. Registration will be from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on race day. The Competition Class race starts at 10 a.m. and the Recreational Class race begins at 10:30. There will be two categories in each class, Junior (17 and younger) and combined Adult/Youth (18 and older with 17 and younger). Course distance for the Competition Class will be 12 miles, and the Recreation Class race course will be 5 miles. Entry fee is $12. To register by e-mail, send name, mailing address, phone, class and division to thorfran@hotmail.com. To register by mail, send same information to Thor and Fran Siegfried, 18337 SW 102 St. Road, Dunnellon, FL 34432. Racers who register by April 15 will receive a complimentary Rainbow-Coochee Rivers Regatta T-shirt. Call the Sigfrieds at (352) 465-4058. Boat rentals are available in Dunnellon at Anglers Resort (352) 489-2397 (canoes) Dragonfly Watersports (352) 489-3046 (kayaks and canoes) and Rainbow River Adventures (canoes) (352) 873-3233.

f,STATE PARK EARTH DAY: Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will observe Earth Day 2001 on April 21. Visitors can view educational exhibits and participate in a scavenger hunt for answers to questions about the environment. Those who find the answers by visiting all the exhibits will receive a package of Earth Day information and goodies, as well as a chance to take part in a drawing for donated prizes. Organizations and individuals who would like to participate with an exhibit may contact Susan or Maria at 628-5343 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Displays must have an Earth Day theme and each will include the answer to a question about the environment. There will be a variety of children's activities focusing on protecting the Florida black bear and a Wetlands Restoration Project in the Garden of the Springs. In addition, there will be a dedication and opening of the Pepper Creek Trail, one of 20 birding trails being established in Citrus County.

FLORAL CITY GARDEN CLUB: The club will sponsor a Historic Home Flower Show from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the flower show, the club will sponsor a Garden Fair with exhibitors selling gardening items. An afternoon tea is included, with special musical performance by Floral City folk singer Pete Hennings. Admission is $5, and tickets will be sold at the gate to the historic Jont Knight House on Orange Avenue, two doors west of the traffic light on U.S. 41. Call 726-7740.

DOG-A-THON: The sixth annual Dog-A-Thon and Dog Fair will be at 9:30 a.m. April 7, Airport Road and the Citrus County Auditorium, U.S. 41 S, Inverness at the fairgrounds. Activities include a dog walk, demonstrations and a fundraiser for several guide dog organizations.

AQUASCAPES TOUR: Nature Coast Aquascape will host a water garden tour to benefit Boggy Creek Gang Camp. Boggy Creek Gang's mission is to enrich the lives of children who have chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, empowering, physically safe and medically sound at no cost to children or families who attend. The year-round camping center has a full-time medical director. The water garden tour will showcase nine of Citrus County's best water gardens. Enjoy a self-guided tour, witness nature interacting in beautiful, ecologically balanced, tropical aquascapes (water gardens) and help send a chronically ill child to camp. The tour will be May 12-13. Tour maps can be obtained by visiting any Citrus County Chamber of Commerce Office, Anson's Nursery, Lecanto; Color Country Nursery on State Road 44, Lecanto; and Nature Coast Aquascape on U.S. 41, Floral City. Cost is $10. Call Rich Nichol of Nature Coast Aquascape at 637-9004.

MUCK REMOVAL PERMITS: The county's Division of Aquatic Services will help homeowners obtain a Corps of Engineers permit for muck removal. Residents interested in muck removal should begin by obtaining an aquatic plant control permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 6355 U.S. 41 S, Floral City, directly across from the golf driving range. Call 726-8622. From there, take the plant control permit along with names and address of adjoining property owners of the muck site, photo of the project area and an estimate of the depth of muck to be removed to the county Aquatic Services, 1300 S Lecanto Highway (County Road 491 S), Lecanto. County staff will use this information to prepare a muck removal permit application that will be mailed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Call Aquatic Services 527-7620 for an appointment.

BUTTONWOOD BONSAI CLUB: The club meets at 9:30 a.m. the third Friday of every month from September through June at First Presbyterian Church, 1501 U.S. 19 S, Crystal River. The club also holds a non-formatted meeting at Hobson's Herbs 131 NE Crystal St. Crystal River at 9:30 a.m. the last Saturday of every month.

ASK A MASTER: A master gardener will be available to answer plant questions from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday at Coastal Region Library, 8619 W Crystal St., Crystal River. The program is held in the community room and there is no charge. Call 795-3716.

POWER SQUADRON: Crystal River Power Squadron meets the second Tuesday of every month except July and August. For information on boating safety classes, call Jim Barker at 795-1026 or for membership call Barbara Kane at 726-2476. LANDSCAPING SERIES: The Citrus Memorial Hospital SHARE Club offers a monthly landscaping series on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. in the hospital auditorium on Grace Street and Osceola Avenue, Inverness. Program is free, but registration is required. Call 344-6900.

GARDEN CLUB OF CRYSTAL RIVER: Meets at 1 p.m. the second Monday of each month at Seven Rivers Golf and Country Club, Crystal River. Call June Mantey 795-0909.

RAILS TO TRAILS: General membership meetings are at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at Lakes Region Library, Inverness. To get on the agenda, call Janice McCann at 637-3744. Rails to Trails is a support group for the Rails to Trails State Park.

SHOOTING CLUB: The Citrus County Shooting Club meets from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays at Kane's Ace Hardware shooting range on U.S. 19 in Homosassa. Call Don Hills, 746-0851, or Don Cook, 527-1598.

PLANT CLINIC: Lakes Region Library on Druid Street, Inverness, has plant clinics from 2 to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday. Master gardeners from the Citrus County Extension Office are on hand to answer questions about plants and gardening.

- Nature Notes is published every Tuesday in the Citrus Times. To submit an article, e-mail it to sanchez@sptimes.com, fax it to 860-7320 or mail it to 301 W Main St., Inverness, FL 34450.

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