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Long-time member honored by CLT

March 28, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Wednesday morning, 35-40 people gathered at Wigert-Barron Preserve to dedicate a small pond on the preserve to Rubye Woodhead.

Woodhead has been a Calusa Land Trust member from the trust's earliest days and the name of the pond is now "Rubye's Pond."

Former CLT president John Kendall explained the location of the pond.

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"From the parking area you can follow the trail (Nancy Rogers Trail) where there are a colony of gopher tortoises," he said. "When you head north along the trail you come to a pond which now has a sign that says Rubye's Pond."

The Wigert Bar-ron Preserve is a 33-acre area located in Bokeelia at the east end of Barrancas Avenue. The land was acquired in 2014 and 2015, principally through the generosity of Jon and Annette Wigert. The preserve was so overgrown with invasive species that members of the Calusa Land Trust didn't know a pond was on the preserve.

When the announcement was made at the CLT annual meeting, Judy Ott said, "Rubye has not only been an outstanding member of the Calusa Land Trust but an outstanding member of the Pine Island community for a very long time ... I wish you would stand with me and give her a standing ovation. Rubye leaving the island will leave a big hole in our hearts."

"I've been friends with Rubye long before Pine Island," fellow CLT member Sonny Koutsoutis said. "In her many years serving the trust, Rubye's organized and participated in work parties, organized the July 4th float and did so much she was like the 'energizer bunny' getting things done. In my humble opinion, Rubye Woodhead's name belongs right up there with the best."

"I've been a member of the Calusa Land Trust for many years," Woodhead said. "Way back then, a good friend of mine, Norm Gowan, asked me to become secretary and then historian. I feel like I've been very lucky to belong to such an organization and very honored to have a pond named after me."

"This is a wonderful day for Rubye but a bitter-sweet day for the Calusa Land Trust and Pine Island," CLT president Rad Hazen said. "Rubye has been such a big part of our island community for so long, everyone is going to miss her when she moves to Virginia."



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