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Nature notes

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2001


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.

AUDUBON: The Citrus County Audubon Society will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lecanto Senior Citizen Center on County Road 491 S, a half-mile south of State Road 44. Special guests will be the fourth-grade class of Pleasant Grove and Homosassa elementary schools, who will share knowledge from Audubon Adventures. The Citrus Audubon Society provides Audubon Adventures to all fourth-graders in Citrus County. This year there were 50 classes. Each class received information about animals as well as geographical information about the oceans. The goal is to develop in young people an appreciation and understanding of the natural world. Call Ron Miller at 628-6066.

RIVER PADDLE: A two-river paddling event for canoe/kayak paddlers is scheduled for April 28 for the Rainbow and Withlacoochee rivers.

The competition will be held at the Rainbow River at County Road 484. 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 a.m. Distance for the Competition Class is 12 miles and 5 miles for Recreation Class. Entry fee is $12. To register by e-mail, send name, mailing address, phone, class and division to: thorfran@hotmail.com. To pre-register by mail, send same information to Thor and Fran Siegfried, 18337 SW 102 St. Road, Dunnellon, FL 34432. Call (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.

SWAMP STOMP: The Friends of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Inc., present the first Swamp Stomp and Paddle beginning at 8 a.m. April 21 with a biathlon, 9.5-mile run and 13-mile paddle beginning at the Homosassa Riverside Resort. The kayak or canoe course will be launched from the Spirit Spring, on the Chassahowitzka River, paddle through the Seven-Cabbage Cutoff in the National Wildlife Refuge onto the Homosassa River. Participants get a T-shirt. Trophies awarded to male and female winners. Those who prefer to participate in the 8-mile run, or the 13-mile canoe/kayak event may register for those without participating in the entire biathlon. A 4-mile guided walk is also offered through the preserve. Walkers gather at the Homosassa Riverside Resort, ride a bus to the trailhead and walk back. A cookout begins at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Resort for $10. Registration fees benefit Friends of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex, a non-profit organization. Register by mail by sending a $10 check coupon to Friends of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex Inc., 1502 SE Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River, FL 34429. Registration the day of the event begins at 6 a.m. at the Riverside Resort in Homosassa. Canoe and kayak rental and lodging is separate. Call Jane Shaw at 382-2744.

STATE PARK EARTH DAY: Homossasa 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, Monday through Friday 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.

AQUASCAPES TOUR: Nature Coast Aquascape will host a water garden tour May 12 and 13 to benefit Boggy Creek Gang Camp near Umatilla. The camp's mission is to enrich the lives of children who have chronic or life-threatening illnesses by through memorable camping experiences. It is the only year-round camping center in the Southeast with a full time medical director. The self-guided water garden tour will showcase nine of Citrus County's best water gardens. Tour maps are available at any Citrus County Chamber of Commerce Office, Anson's Nursery, Lecanto; Color Country Nursery on State Road 44, Lecanto; Raymond James Financial on U.S. 19, Crystal River and Nature Coast Aquascape on U.S. 41, Floral City. Cost is $10. Call Rich Nichol of Nature Coast Aquascape at 637-9004.

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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