Approximately 200 slash pine trees will be planted at St. James Preserve this weekend - weather permitting.
Rubye Woodhead, a member of The Calusa Land Trust, said they have planted tree seedlings on the island for many years. She said they have a work party on the first weekend of every month to do various work on all the preserves, which includes planting.
This month, on June 9, the work party will include many other organizations on the island that have been nurturing the pine trees since the beginning of the year, so they can be planted once the rainy season began. The Greater Pine Island Lions Club, Boy Scout Troop 20, the Pine Island Garden Club and many members of the St. Jude Home Owners Association will help the Calusa Land Trust plant the trees on the preserve.
The work will be from 9 a.m. until noon, and residents are invited to stop by and help plant trees. Those who join are asked to dress appropriately. Woodhead said individuals should wear a hat, gloves, suntan lotion and bring buckets and shovels to plant the trees.
She said they receive seedlings in December every year to plant during the rainy season. Woodhead said since the winter is a part of the dry season, members of the Calusa Land Trust, along with the other organizations nurtured the seedlings, so they can plant as many as they can.
If Saturday turns into a rainy day, the planting of the trees will be postponed until June 16, the following weekend.
The Lions Club decided to get involved in the tree planting this year because of a challenge the International Lions Club president put forth at the end of last year - to plant a million trees. President Mary Von Burg immediately got excited about the challenge and wanted to get the Calusa Land Trust and Planters will receive food and drinks, courtesy of the Lions Club.
Von Burg said the Boy Scouts will receive their meal for free as a thank you for planting the trees. Everyone else will be asked to pay $1 for there hot dog meal.
St. James Preserve is located past the American Legion. Turn left on Laratonda to Stabile. Turn right and follow the road to Crestwood Court. The preserve is located at that corner.