Did you know according to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants, there are 2,870 plants native to the state of Florida? Did you also know there are an additional 1,412 "invasive" species of plants in the state?
Invasive species are introduced accidentally through shipping materials or deliberately for ornamental and commercial purposes. These invasive plants don't have the natural enemies that control their growth in their home range. This allows them to spread throughout an area often reducing biodiversity, loss of habitat and food sources for native insects, birds, and other wildlife. They can even change the natural ecological systems.
As part of the construction of the new Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center, Steve Timsac was instructed by the county that all "invasive" species of plants had to be removed from the property. So, five board members, Steve Timsac, Pat Hutchinson, Carie Call, Dave Bucceny and Wayne Reed, arrived bright and early Monday morning to remove "invasive" trees and shrubs.
Pine Island Chamber board members (left to right) Steve Timcak, Carie Call, Wayne Reed, Pat Hutchinson and Dave Bucceny removed invasives from the new welcome center property Monday morning.
"It's going great," said Timsac, president, said after several hours of work. "Everyone is chipping in to get these invasive trees out of here as the county requested. We are always going beyond whatever they've asked us to do. We weren't asked to build a green building but we did."
The clearing is generally along the perimeter of the property but involves a great deal of material. Heavy equipment such as a 12 inch chipper shred trees into mulch.
"The building is coming along on schedule," Timsac said. "As you know, we were concerned about the roof trusses. But they came in a week early and put us on schedule to finish before Christmas. It would be great to have the Welcome Center ready for our Christmas Party."