This past weekend, our Hurricane Ian recovery efforts for Lemon Creek Wildflower Preserve got an enormous boost from Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints volunteers. More than 25 volunteers spent their day Saturday helping remove vegetation and construction debris on the northeast side of the preserve. And 40 volunteers turned out on Sunday morning to continue cleanup efforts in the northwestern portion of the property. Volunteers came from congregations in the Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas, and from as far away as north Florida.
Teams worked with chainsaws to clear downed trees that were blocking preserve trails, and to cut down damaged trees that were leaning badly or posed safety hazards. Larger limbs were dropped to ground level and the cuttings were left onsite to decompose over time.
Other volunteers worked among the dense preserve shrubs, vines, and tall grasses to pull out aluminum roofing materials, Styrofoam insulation, asphalt shingles and home debris that had blown into the preserve from neighboring communities. Working with LBC volunteers, the debris was taken to the street right-of-way, and stacked for later pick-up by county debris removal contractors.
Recognizing that there is still much more work to do to complete our preserve cleanup, the group left donated chainsaws, safety equipment, debris-clearing sleds, rakes, trash cans and gloves to help with our ongoing efforts.
Thank you from Lemon Bay Conservancy to all of the Church members who organized and helped onsite with this amazing effort!