Interested in lending a hand at Everglades National Park? On Saturday park staff will be looking for volunteers to help with removing invasive plants in the "Hole" in the Donut restoration area. The event coincides with World Wetlands Day.
Before its designation as a national park, the Everglades were farmlands in which an exotic plant, Brazilian Pepper, was used to aerate the soil. Left unchecked, the invasive plant flourished and now volunteers are needed to pull up new shoots by hand and use loppers, hand clippers, and handsaws to eradicate it. Volunteers will restore original habitat and make a world of difference for local wetlands.
The Everglades was designated as a Wetland of International Importance on June 4, 1987. The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
Volunteers will meet at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center parking lot at 8:30 a.m. before caravanning to the Daniel Beard Center. Be prepared for hot and humid weather.
Participants are required to wear long-sleeved shirts, sneakers, and long pants to protect against exposure to sun, biting insects, poisonwood, and ivy. Please bring a lunch, refillable water bottle, hat, and sunglasses. Plan to get your feet wet.
Participating volunteers will receive a free entry pass, enabling each volunteer to visit the Everglades again with their family and friends.
Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center: 40001 SR 9336, Homestead, FL 33034
From the Miami area and northern destinations, take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S.1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344thSt.) and follow the signs to the park. The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center will be on the right. Volunteers driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.